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Title: The costs of integration : an attitudinal study of ethnic Danes, non-Western immigrants and policymakers
Author: Kulvmann, Jesper
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 1674
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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This comparative study attempts to explain the perceived unsatisfactory level of integration of non-Western immigrants in Denmark by examining a possible schism between attitudes towards integration of elite policymakers and ethnic Danes and non-Western immigrants. So far no in-depth studies of attitudes towards immigrant related issues have investigated the attitudes of policymakers. This thesis addresses this gap with a study of attitudes, which applies a theoretical framework combining rational choice theory with dimensions of social capital. The study focuses on the non-economic costs, especially social transaction costs that immigrants and Danes encounter in the process of integrating immigrants. An on-line questionnaire was distributed to Danes and non-Western immigrants collecting attitudinal quantitative data. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with policymakers: politicians and bureaucrats at local and national level and representatives of ethnic councils. The study suggests that ethnic Danes and non-Western immigrants have rather similar attitudes towards structural integration, but they differ significantly in their attitudes towards cultural integration. While education, trust and having an out-group friend are significant determinants of the attitudes of Danes and their acceptance of social transaction costs, education and trust in out-group have limited impact on attitudes of non-Western immigrants. It is suggested that ethnic and religious factors are important predictors of attitudes of non-Western immigrants. Policymakers and ethnic Danes seem to have a similar pattern of social contact with immigrants. There are, however, indications that differences of attitudes between Danes and immigrants may be provoked by policymakers’ way of discussing integration. This is more salient among Parliamentarians and bureaucrats. This study shows that social interaction between immigrants and ethnic Danes is important in order to incorporate immigrants on equal terms with Danes, but the policymakers’ discussion of integration may alienate Danes and immigrants and influence negatively their readiness to integrate.
Supervisor: Coleman, David; Bukodi, Erzsebet Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social policy & social work ; integration ; non-Western immigrants ; policymakers ; Muslims