Transnational involvement and social integration
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Abstract: In this article we offer a quantitative examination of the extent to which migrants from various countries are involved in transnational activities and have transnational identifications. The study is based on a survey of 300 immigrants (from the USA, Japan, Iraq, former-Yugoslavia, Morocco and the Dutch Antilles) living in the Netherlands. The respondents are deliberately chosen to include different categories of immigrants. Transnational activities constitute a substantial part of their lives and are to a large extent socio-cultural. Many migrants also transfer money abroad. Professional economic activities were rare and mainly limited to the American group. As a whole, our respondents identify more with other compatriots living in the Netherlands than with people living outside the Netherlands. The research also found that transnational involvement in general does not impede ‘immigrant integration’. Migrant groups that are known as poorly integrated into Dutch society are not more involved in transnational activities and have no stronger identifications with the country of origin than other groups. However, within the Moroccan and Antillean groups those respondents with the weakest labour market position identify more strongly with the country of origin than others. Strong identifications with compatriots living elsewhere and withdrawal from Dutch society may reinforce their poor labour market integration.