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History of the project

Introduction

Immigration and the subsequent integration of newcomers is one of the foremost challenges for Europe's increasingly heterogeneous cities. The integration of the second generation - the children born of immigrant parentage in the country of migration - is crucial to this process, for they constitute a growing share of metropolitan youth today. Research on the topic of the second generation is particularly pertinent because it can answer many questions of integration. In theory, the second generation, those who were born in the country of immigration, should have the same chances as children from native-born parents. Thus the relative position of the second generation with regard to education and labour force participation is often viewed as a robust measure of group integration as a whole. Though it is clear by now that their participation in various aspects of society is evolving differently in each country, no rigorous cross-national comparisons of second-generation groups have yet been made.

Children born to post-war migrants to Western-Central Europe are finishing their educational careers and are beginning to enter the labour market now in considerable numbers. The first real assessment of second-generation integration can be made. We will investigate in this project how the integration of the second generation is proceeding in several different domains, including among others education, labour market, social relations and identity formation.

State of the art

Research on the topic of the second generation has emerged only recently.  The fact that post-war second generations in Europe started completing their school careers, entering the labour market and founding their own families explains why researchers began exploring their situation with special interest. For almost a decade now the "second generation issue" has been put as much on the academic as on the political agenda and became a key element in the debate on the success or possible failure of integration.

In an unprecedented convergence of historical situations, Europe and North America are facing very similar issues, so that concepts and theories are circulating in a unified field of research. The American research on the second generation emerged around the early 1990s. It had a profound theoretical impact on the second-generation debate in Europe too. Explaining variations in the ways that ethnic groups integrate into US-society has been a central theme in American research. Different patterns of integration or assimilation have been distinguished. Best-known is the notion of 'segmented assimilation' introduced by Portes and his colleagues (see especially Portes & Rumbaut 2001; Rumbaut & Portes 2001). The basic idea of that theory is that immigrants and their children may assimilate into three different segments of the receiving society: the mainstream or middle class, the underclass, or their own ethnic community. In the third case, they may retain much of their cultural legacy while developing a specific economic niche in the receiving society.

Although American researchers have been quite influential, there is growing share of European research to the field (Crul & Thomson 2007). Especially in the perspective of cross-national research European researchers could make valuable contributions to the debate. In the American debate, the emphasis has been on comparing different ethnic groups in the same city or national context (see the most important studies Portes and Rumbaut 1996; Portes and Rumbaut, 2001; Kasinitz e.a., 2002), while comparatively few studies directed their focus to the integration of children of immigrants in various countries (exceptions include the studies of Alba 2003; Faist 1995; Mollenkopf 1999). North American researchers, as Reitz (2001: 8f.) pointed out, have only recently begun to give more attention to the importance of the national context in which immigrants and their children try to move forward (cf. Alba 2003: 23; Crul 2006). By contrast, the importance of the local and national context in integration pathways has received more attention in Europe - probably because of the geographical proximity of economically closely interlinked, but still very different institutional and structural approaches to integration (Arnaud 2005; Crul & Vermeulen 2003; Doomernik 1998; Eldering & Kloprogge 1989; Fase 1994; Heckmann et al. 2001; Mahnig 1998; Muus 2003; Werner 1994).
       
The focus of many international comparative studies on immigrants and their offspring (e.g. Mahnig 1998; Vermeulen 1997; Castles & Miller 1993; Faist 1995; Joppke 1999; Mollenkopf 1999) has been to emphasise the role of notions of citizenship and nationhood on immigration and integration policies. A well-known example of this view is Roger Brubaker's Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany (1992).

This type of research has been criticised on a number of grounds. Some have argued that cities, rather than nations, should be the primary focus (Body-Gendrot & Martiniello 2000). Variations between cities within the same nation-state can be considerable. Although this may partly result from different policies at regional or city levels, several authors have also warned that the influence of government policies on integration outcomes should not be exaggerated (e.g. Muus 2002; Penninx & Vermeulen 2000). Banton (2001) has argued that the actual integration processes in the different European countries resemble far more than research on differences in national models suggested. Banton's critique exposes another major shortcoming of international comparative research up to now: it has not devoted much attention to the integration process itself.

In the following, we will review those international studies that did have a focus on the integration process in a comparative perspective. From the very beginning, the second generation was targeted as an important comparison group for international research. The ESF research project in the 1980s entitled International Migration and the Cultural Sense of Belongingness of the Second Generation (Liebkind 1989; Rex 1987; Wilpert, 1988) can be seen as one of the first moves. The term 'second generation' was still used very loosely in that study to include both children born in the parents' destination country (second generation in the narrower sense) and those who arrived there at a later age (now usually distinguished as the one-and-a-half generation). The project's publications described the situation of this 'second generation' in terms of topics that varied from country to country. Only a few cross-national comparisons were made.

The ISCEY project was the second large-scale project on immigrant youth. This International Comparative Study on Ethnocultural Youth was conducted in the mid-1990s (Berry et al. 2006). It had a strong psychological focus and contained information on language use, discrimination and schooling. The main instrument of the ISCEY project was a standardised survey among immigrant youth in 13 countries (8 of them in Europe). Different combinations of ethnic groups were targeted in each country. The survey covered 26 different groups of different generations. The main focus in the analysis was on processes of acculturation. Some differences between countries were described, but the varied composition of ethnic groups and generations in the different countries made it difficult to distinguish between country effects and group effects.

The EFFNATIS project was the third international project on immigrant offspring. EFFNATIS - Effectiveness of National Integration Strategies towards Second-Generation Migrant Youth - was conducted from 1998 to 2000 by researchers in eight European countries, and focused on the relationship between national integration policies and the outcomes for the second generation (Heckmann et al. 2001). The EFFNATIS project restricted the second generation to young people born in their parents' destination country, but different ethnic groups were targeted in different countries, which made comparisons across countries again difficult.

Another international project The Future of the Second Generation in Europe, launched in 2000, compared second-generation youth in six European countries, with a primary focus on the Turkish and Moroccan youth. Findings were reported in a special issue of the International Migration Review (winter 2003, edited by Crul & Vermeulen). Researchers used the outcomes of the EFFNATIS country reports, and they also gathered additional material and used existing national-level data sources. The study shows that the school careers of second-generation Turks exhibit startling differences across Europe.

Crul and Vermeulen show that different outcomes can be related to differences in national educational institutional arrangements (including e.g. starting age of compulsory schooling, amount of school contact hours in primary school, school system characteristics and the importance of early or late selection in secondary education) and to the different ways in which the transition to the labour market is formalised (cf. Crul 2005a; 2005b; 2005c; Faist 1995; Muus 2003). This institutional approach, as it is dubbed by Crul and Vermeulen (Crul & Vermeulen 2003; 2005; cf. Reitz 2003), highlights the often-overlooked role of institutions.
Although more empirical evidence is urgently needed, we believe that national contexts have a considerable impact on the paths of integration of second-generation groups in the various countries. More detailed and comparable data will make it possible to describe the importance of the national and local context with more accuracy. But, in order to do so, what is needed is a common international survey design.


The international research project TIES

In 2005, a new research project on the second generation in eight European countries has started with the acronym TIES (The Integration of the European Second generation). The general coordination of the TIES project is in the hands of Maurice Crul and Jens Schneider from the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES) at the Unversity of Amsterdam. Liesbeth Heering of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) is coordinating the international survey of the TIES project. Patrick Simon of the French National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) coordinates the TIES research and training network that involves twelve PhD students.

TIES is an international research project on the descendants of immigrants from Turkey, Ex-Yugoslavia, and Morocco in eight EU-member states. The 'second generation' refers here to those children of immigrants born in the immigration country, having followed their entire education there, and being now between 18 and 35 years old.

Since migration is primarily an urban phenomenon, the project will be realised in 15 cities in eight countries. These cities are: Paris and Strasburg in France, Berlin and Frankfurt in Germany, Madrid and Barcelona in Spain, Vienna and Linz in Austria, Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium, Zurich and Basle in Switzerland, and Stockholm in Sweden. In almost all cities the focus will be on three different groups: two second generation groups, and a 'native' control group. The two respective second-generation groups are Turks and Moroccans in France, the Netherlands and Belgium, and Turks and Ex-Yugoslavians in Sweden, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Due to the later influx of labour migrants, the Spanish project will only address Moroccans and the native control group.

Most of the comparative European research on integration so far has focused on immigrants in general. The heterogeneity of the categories 'immigrants' or 'children of immigrants' makes it difficult to assure truly international comparability. Studying specific ethnic groups with the same starting position (the second generation) makes it easier to compare them cross-nationally. The fact that we can compare the same ethnic group with the same starting position in different countries gives us the opportunity to study the importance of the receiving context in integration processes. The TIES project will analyse the relative effects of specific city and national contexts in promoting or hampering the integration of the second generation.


History of the TIES project

The TIES team first secured funding for a preliminary TIES study in 2003 from the Swiss Stiftung für Bevölkerung, Migration und Umwelt (BMU). The TIES Study Group, comprised of nine national partners and the international coordination, has met in four international workshops to discuss the creation of a common research design. The second step was to secure funding for the TIES survey itself. The German VolkswagenStiftung was the first to support our efforts and to finance a core part, i.e. a survey among second-generation Turks in five countries. Additional ten national and international funding requests (including two ESF ECRP applications) enabled us to make possible the survey in three more countries and to include two additional groups. The budget for the coordination and implementation of the survey now totals about 2.5 million euros.

The aim of the TIES project will be to provide a first systematic cross-national comparison of the second generation in Europe. This kind of international comparative, empirically grounded research into integration processes is still very rare, especially because it is technically very complicated and almost no infrastructure exists for such work.

Although the European Union fosters convergence in social, economic, political and legal terms, its' member-states are still worlds apart in many aspects. National research agendas do not run in tandem, and funding structures vary widely. The result is that local bodies of research knowledge differ in both magnitude and character. Researchers in different countries, though linked together through conferences, international networks and journals, pursue different avenues of research, and apply differing concepts and methods.

  • As a first step in the TIES project we developed a common European research design. During the pre-study the participants in our consortium have agreed on the principal features of this design, including concepts and their definitions, indicators for concepts, and how to resolve sampling problems.
Next to the international survey carried out in fifteen cities situated in eight countries, the TIES research group is developing the following activities:
  1. An inventory of national and local institutional arrangements and general and group-specific policies (including anti-discrimination schemes), targeting children of immigrants (see below).
  2. The recruitment of twelve 'early stage' research projects on different thematic issues related to integration that will use the international dataset to explore the influence of local and specific country contexts. These projects are funded through the Research and Training Network program of Marie Curie of the EU. This part of the project is coordinated by INED.

Research Methodology

Plans for the comparative survey were developed out of a series of intensive discussions in the TIES Study Group, incorporating experiences from all participating countries. The following criteria have been chosen to define the standardised survey:

  • To target the same groups: Second Generation Turks, Moroccans and ex-Yugoslavs. The choice to select the same groups in all the countries aims at reducing the discrepancies due to the history of the migration and culture of origin of the immigrant parents. By doing so, we expect to emphasise the national and local impact on the trajectories of integration followed by the second generations.
  • To include a 'native' comparison group. The 'natives' are included for two main purposes: as a contrast group and as an interacting group. Structural integration has to be assessed by defining a 'norm' or 'average' to compare to. This can be done by taking either the native population or the general population as a benchmark. For this study we select our 'native' control group from the same age group as the second generations. But the 'native' population is not only a 'contrasting' group; it is also a category of people who interact with second-generation youth. The mutual relations and the perceptions and attitudes on both sides should therefore receive ample attention in the questionnaire.
  • To realise the survey in eight countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Our choice of countries was a product of the following considerations:
    • They should have sufficiently large populations of second-generation youth.
    • Each ethnic group should be present in sufficient numbers in at least three countries. Since Turkish immigrants and their children are present in most countries on the continent, we began our selection by looking at countries with sizeable Turkish populations.
    • Countries to be selected should have high-quality integration research and well-qualified researchers available.
The following table gives an overview of the survey in the eight countries:

 

Turkish

2nd generation

Moroccan

2nd generation

Ex-Yugoslavian

2nd generation

     Natives

    Total

Sweden

Stockholm

250

0

0

250

 500

Germany

Berlin

250

0

250

250

1500

Frankfurt

250

0

250

250

Netherlands

Amsterdam

250

250

0

250

1500

Rotterdam

250

250

0

250

Belgium

Antwerp

250

250

0

250

1500

Brussels

250

250

0

250

France

Paris

250

0

0

250

1000

Strasbourg

250

0

0

250

Spain

Madrid

0

250

0

250

1000

Barcelona

0

250

0

250

Austria

Vienna

250

0

250

250

1500

Linz

250

0

250

250

Switzerland

Basle

250

0

250

250

1500

Zurich

250

0

250

250

Total

 

3250

1500

1500

3750

10.000




At the very centre of the TIES project stands the common international questionnaire, specially developed for the project. The questionnaire consists of twelve modules:
  • Module A: Personal details of respondent
  • Module B: Educational career
  • Module C: Labour history
  • Module D: Partner(s)
  • Module E: Parents and siblings
  • Module F: Housing and neighbourhood
  • Module G: Social relations
  • Module H: Gender roles and child care
  • Module J: Identity, language and transnationalism
  • Module K: Religion and religiosity
  • Module L: Income of respondent and partner
  • Module M: Written question sheet (for more sensitive questions), which respondent completes at end of interview.

One of the main purposes of the comparative perspective of the TIES project is to identify relevant institutional and contextual factors that prove significant for explaining differences in the situations of similar migrant populations and their offspring in the different countries. Consequently, in order to identify, describe and analyse these factors, the project will develop an inventory of national and local institutional arrangements and of group-specific policies targeting immigrant youth and the children of migrants. Special emphasis will be put on the areas of education and labour market.

In the area of education the inventory will describe national and local educational systems in detail and the proportions of pupils/students with various migrant backgrounds in different school types. Since national, and even local school systems vary widely in many significant aspects, the inventory will consist (a) of a 'thick description' of the most relevant aspects and characteristics of each local and national system, and (b) of definitional standards to enable a common coding of comparable school types and transition points across cities and countries.

The inventory will also describe specific policies targeting migrant populations and possibly their offspring. Some attention will also be given to the urban context of the survey, for example by making qualitative and demographic descriptions of sampled neighbourhoods with higher shares of target populations and the status of those neighbourhoods and populations within the cities in question. An additional part of the inventory will be devoted to general demographic data on the composition and characteristics of the target groups and their parents (socioeconomic status, consumption levels, family formation, educational attainment etc.), as well as to socio-cultural aspects of diasporic community formation and transnationalism. Finally, the inventory will also give an overview over anti-discrimination schemes and multicultural policies.

The study of the second generation in Europe will test key assumptions on integration and integration theory. Stemming from different theoretical perspectives, our analytical grid seeks to test a range of hypotheses and will address major theoretical issues in the debates on integration. We believe this will be the most effective theoretical strategy for our research.

We will look particularly to two theoretical approaches: the citizenship approach and the institutional approach. The citizenship approach assumes that national immigration and integration policies constitute one of the major determinants of the integration process (Brubaker, 1992; Castles and Miller, 1993; Joppke, 1999). It should be particularly relevant in issues such as ethnic and religious identity formation, transnationalism, and family formation and partner choice (Heckmann et al., 2001).

The institutional approach seems particularly relevant to structural integration. A number of the senior researchers in our project team (Crul and Vermeulen, 2003a, Crul and Doomernik 2003; Herzog, 2003, Simon, 2003; Westin, 2003, Phalet, 2003) developed this new line of thinking together in the special issue of International Migration Review cited above. The authors show that variations in educational and labour market status can be linked to differences in national educational institutional arrangements (starting age of compulsory schooling, number of school contact hours in primary school, school system characteristics, and practices of early or late selection in secondary education) and to different ways of formalising transitions to the labour market (in particular, the emphasis placed on apprenticeship systems) in the respective countries (cf Faist, 1995; Muus, 2003).

The institutional and citizenship approaches can both be criticised for not paying sufficient attention to the importance of agency of the ethnic groups themselves. The in the TIES project studied labour migrant groups do not only form an ethnic minority, but do also find themselves in a very low class position. If numbers are controlled according to class or social background, the gap in relation to children of native-born parents often narrows sharply or even disappears. This has prompted a discussion on the role of class and culture in integration problems, and whether those two factors are maybe intertwined in ways that are difficult to unpack analytically (see for instance McAll 1990; Vermeulen and Penninx 2001).

A major question is still how cultural and structural integration interrelate. Do cultural maintenance and a strong ethnic identity hamper socioeconomic integration or do they 'generate' cultural and social capital that facilitates it? We will thus try to determine how relevant the theory of segmented assimilation (Portes and Rumbaut, 2001; Rumbaut and Portes, 2001) is to the European context .   
Gender will occupy a prominent place in our study. As we tentatively established in the special issue on the second generation in Europe, the educational careers of second-generation adolescents differ according to gender in the three ethnic target groups, and labour market careers of male and female young adults differ from country to country.


TIES Research and Policy Output

It has been a central project objective from the very beginnings to produce policy-relevant outcomes, and to communicate these outcomes to policy makers, migrant organisations and other relevant actors on the local, national and European levels. It is planned to organise an international stakeholders conference in 2008, in which researchers, policy makers and NGOs will meet to discuss the results of the TIES project. The conference is partly funded by the VW foundation in Germany. In preparation for the conference local and/or national policy workshops will be held in the cities and countries where the TIES survey is carried out.

As a first step the National Urban Knowledge Centre (KIEM) in the Netherlands will finance a workshop in the second half of 2007 in the Netherlands with stakeholders from the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and the Integration Department (DCIM) of the national Ministry of the Justice. This workshop can be seen as a pilot for the other workshops in Europe in the beginning of 2008, to be organised by EUKN and IMES together with the TIES partners in the eight partner countries.

In the local or national workshops researchers will present information on the second generation based on the TIES database and available literature as background information for the discussion. As a preparation of the national/local workshops each TIES partner will prepare so-called 'policy briefs' on the topics of education and the transition to the labour market. The policy briefs will translate the main results of the TIES survey to an audience of policy makers and NGOs. The policy briefs can also be used as position papers for the workshop, and will be posted on the TIES website. The results of the local or national workshops will provide a major input for the international TIES stakeholders' conference in 2008.
 

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