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Title: Integration, social cohesion and social capital: complex links and relations
Authors: VAN CRAEN, Maarten 
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts
Source: Hooghe, Marc (Ed.) Social cohesion. Contemporary theoretical perspectives on the study of social cohesion and social capital. p. 103-126.
Abstract: In the public debate about integration in Belgium, and in Europe more widely, it is often said that indigenous and immigrant communities do not know one another, and that immigrant communities withdraw into a self-made ghetto. Lack of contact between those of indigenous and of immigrant descent is said to pose dangers to social cohesion and strong relations within immigrant communities are said to hinder immigration. There are hardly any figures either to support or to disprove such assertations and assumptions, as there has been relatively little social research on this issue. Nor has much attention been given to differences between immigrant groups. Available studies of the social capital of members of immigrant communities have focused particularly on participation in formally organized associations. (Fennema, 2004; Berger, Galonska & Koopmans, 2004; Jacobs, Phalet & Swyngedouw, 2004; Cyrus, 2005; Verweel, Janssens & Roques, 2005). Although the informal social contacts of minorities (with friends, neighbours, etc...) are at least as important, there has been very little research into this subject. In the past few years a small number of European researchers, working in the context of broadly conceived integration research, have begun to map the contacts of members of minority communities with neighbours and friends, but generally without explicit reference to the concept of social capital. Our intent is to enrich research into integration by bringing it into relation with research into social capital, and this article is intended as a step in that direction. First we will draw upon existing literature to build a conceptual framework for research into the interaction of members of minority and majority groups. The concepts 'integration', 'social cohesion', and 'social capital' will take a prominent place in this framework. We will then - on the basis of our own research findings and those of colleagues - pause to consider the relationship between social capital on the one hand, and integration and social cohesion on the other. Finally, we will discuss the complex relationship between integration and social cohesion.
Keywords: Overheid en samenleving;Integration 'social cohesion' 'social capital'
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ISBN: 978-90-6569-076-0
Category: C1
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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