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Immigrant Performance in the Labour Market

Immigrant Performance in the Labour Market: Bonding and Bridging Social Capital

Bram Lancee
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Immigrant Performance in the Labour Market
    Book Description:

    To what extent can different forms of social capital help immigrants make headway on the labour market? An answer to this pressing question begins here. Taking the Netherlands and Germany as case studies, the book identifies two forms of social capital that may work to increase employment, income and occupational status and, conversely, decrease unemployment. New insights into the concepts of bonding and bridging arise through quantitative research methods, using longitudinal and crosssectional data. Referring to a dense network with 'thick' trust, bonding is measured as family ties, co-ethnic ties and trust in the family. Bridging is seen in terms of interethnic ties, thus implying a crosscutting network with 'thin' trust. Immigrant Performance in the Labour Market reveals that although bonding allows immigrants to get by, bridging enables them to get ahead. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1495-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. List of figures and tables
    (pp. 7-10)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. 11-12)
    Bram Lancee
  5. 1 Introduction and research questions
    (pp. 13-16)

    One of the main challenges that Western countries are faced with is how to deal with the increasing share of immigrants and their descendants. The incorporation of immigrants into the host society is of utmost importance to social cohesion. In almost all Western societies, the discussion on the consequences of immigration is a key topic on both the public and political agenda. Also among policymakers, the incorporation of immigrants in terms of employment, income and occupational status has been of major concern. The economic incorporation of immigrants in their host society is therefore of great interest to scholars studying the...

  6. 2 Social capital theory
    (pp. 17-32)

    One of the main insights in contemporary social science is that ‘no man is an island’ (Flap 2002). People are embedded in the social networks that they form and these networks affect their lives. A social network can be considered a social resource, which can produce returns in order to improve the conditions of living. Consequently, people can use their network to better attain their goals. In other words, one’s social network can be treated as capital. One of the first to define social capital was Bourdieu (1986: 248). He described social capital as follows:

    The aggregate of the actual...

  7. 3 Immigrants in Germany and the Netherlands
    (pp. 33-56)

    The concept of migration background categorises people with respect to their migration experience. It not only refers to those who have migrated themselves, but also to foreign people who are residents in the destination country and to all their descendants (Statistisches Bundesamt 2009).

    In the field of migration research, there are several ways to label people with a migration background and people without one. Within the former category, those who have migrated themselves are generally labelled ‘first-generation immigrants’. There is less consensus about how to label their descendants: the children of immigrants and their subsequent generations. They are referred to...

  8. 4 Immigrants’ social capital and labour market outcomes
    (pp. 57-76)

    An important distinction in the research on immigrants and their position on the labour market is between ‘economic integration’ and what I will call ‘labour market outcomes’. Often, economic integration is defined as the degree of equality between immigrant and native residents (Bommes & Kolb 2004; Van Tubergen 2004). Integration as the degree of equality is understood as the performance of immigrants on a given indicator, compared with the performance of the native population on the same indicator. Except for the analyses in chapter 7, I do not compare immigrants with natives. Although without any doubt, comparing the immigrant to...

  9. 5 The case of the Netherlands
    (pp. 77-102)

    This chapter empirically analyses the influence of bonding and bridging social capital on the labour market outcomes of the four main non-Western ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands: Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans and Surinamese (see also Lancee 2010). The data used is the SPVA from 1998 and 2002 (Groeneveld & Weyers-Martens 2003; Martens 1999).¹ The SPVA survey is the main data source for monitoring the disadvantages experienced by ethnic minorities in the Netherlands (Guiraudon, Phalet & Ter Wal 2005). Spanning thirteen municipalities – which includes those in the country’s four largest cities, along with more rural communities – the survey was taken with...

  10. 6 The case of Germany
    (pp. 103-136)

    Using data from the German Social Economic Panel (GSOEP), this chapter analyses the effect of bonding and bridging social capital on the labour market outcomes of immigrants in Germany (see also Lancee forthcoming). The ethnic groups included are Turks, Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and Portuguese (the latter two combined in one category), migrants from former Yugoslavia and migrants from Eastern Europe (Romania, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Czech Republic), plus ‘Other’, a category for the ‘rest’ mainly comprising immigrants from Western European countries.

    The GSOEP is a household-based panel study that has conducted a yearly questionnaire since 1984 (Wagner, Burkhauser & Behringer 1993)....

  11. 7 Interethnic and intra-ethnic friendships and unemployment duration for Turkish immigrants and native Germans
    (pp. 137-154)

    This chapter investigates to what extent bonding and bridging social capital can help reduce the duration of unemployment for Turkish immigrants and native residents in Germany. More specifically, I analyse whether having interethnic and intra-ethnic friendships can be associated with shorter unemployment duration.

    The research design in this chapter differs from the two previous chapters in two ways. First, the only immigrant group included is that of Turks. Moreover, I compare Turks with native Germans. Second, the dependent variable is different. By estimating event history models, I analyse the duration of unemployment and the transition from unemployment to work. The...

  12. 8 Conclusions on immigrants’ bonding and bridging social capital
    (pp. 155-164)

    The question posed in this book is to what extent different forms of social capital help immigrants in making headway on the labour market. More specifically, I analysed the effect of bonding and bridging social capital on employment, income and occupational status. The economic incorporation of immigrants in their host society is of great interest to scholars studying the consequences of migration. Researchers have suggested that social capital contributes to economic outcomes such as access to the labour market (Aguilera, 2002; Drever & Hoffmeister 2008), wages (Aguilera 2005; Boxman, De Graaf & Flap 1991) and occupational status (Lin 1999). For...

  13. Appendix: The measurement of social capital using cumulative scaling
    (pp. 165-170)
  14. References
    (pp. 171-184)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 185-190)