English title: Overcoming Institutional Barriers: The Relationship Between Basic Human Motivations and Immigrant Integration Across European Societies

Author(s): Tim Reeskens - Maureen A. Eger -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2014


Research on the incorporation of immigrants into host societies has paid particular attention to the question of who is most likely to integrate, by distinguishing between individual, country of destination, and country of origin effects. Most of these debates have largely overlooked the question of why some people are more likely to integrate. In this study, we analyze integration at the micro-level by identifying what basic human motivations lead to greater socioeconomic success, cultural adaption and political participation. Social psychological research has identified four higher-order universal human values that are consistent with specific types of motivations: self-transcendence (motivation = social justice), conservation (motivation = social order), self-enhancement (motivation = self-esteem enhancement), and openness-to-change (motivation = creativity and independence of thought). Although each exists in every culture, there is much variation in regards to the distribution of these values within and between countries (Schwartz & Bardi, 2001). In this study, we posit that immigrant integration should depend on whether immigrants have the same values and motivations that are dominant among native residents. Moreover, we expect self-enhancement values in particular to be strongly correlated with integration. Yet, because immigrants are more likely than native-born citizens to experience discrimination, we expect this motivation to be more important for immigrant outcomes than for natives. Further, we hypothesize that the relationship between these values and integration will be strongest in societies that have additional institutional features that make immigrant integration more challenging (i.e. weaker welfare states, societies without multicultural policies, and societies without inclusive immigrant integration policies). To test these hypotheses, we analyze the 2002-2012 cumulative file of the European Social Survey, which includes the Schwartz’ Portrait Values Questionnaire in addition to a number of social and political and attitudes and behavior.

Conference name: XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology

Location: Yokohama

Start date: Jun 13, 2014

Type: Paper

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