Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology

Research clusters | Ethnic and cultural diversity: Furthering integration and cohesion

Ethnic and cultural diversity: Furthering integration and cohesion

Continuing processes of migration of families and individuals, with very different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds and with different migration histories (e.g., labor migrants, family reunification, refugees), have made many countries more diverse. This research cluster focuses on the nature and consequences of increasing ethnic and cultural diversity.

The general aim is to understand the negative and positive reactions of native people in receiving societies to these migration flows as well as to migrants’ acculturation and integration in host societies.

Research has focused on questions as to why there are differences in the extent to which individuals and populations of receiving societies have rejected or accepted migrants. Vice versa, studies also shed light on and provided insights into ethnic, national and religious identity of immigrant-origin groups and their relation to other minority groups. Furthermore, research has provided new insights into the causal mechanisms under which diversity can increase the danger of societal polarization in (local) communities and institutions, or rather has beneficial effects. A particular focus is on work showing to what extent ethnic exclusionism in society takes place, when and why sub-populations support exclusionism and how mutual trust between ethnic groups can be fostered. This research cluster develops and tests theoretical models of the social mechanisms that drive integration or polarization.

Key Publications

  • Bilecen, B., Gamper, M., & Lubbers, M.J. (2018). The missing link: Social network analysis in migration and transnationalism. Social Networks, 53, 1-3.
  • Blommaert, L., Coenders, M., & Van Tubergen, F. (2014). Discrimination of Arabic-named applicants in the Netherlands: an internet-based field experiment examining different phases in online recruitment procedures. Social forces, 92, 957-982.
  • Lancee, B. (2016). The negative side effects of vocational education. A cross-national analysis of the relative unemployment risk of young non-western immigrants in Europe. American Behavioral Scientist, 60, 659-679.
  • Lubbers, M. & Jaspers, E. (2011). A longitudinal study of euro-scepticism in the Netherlands: 2008 versus 1990. European Union Politics, 12, 21-40.
  • Savelkoul, M., Scheepers, P., Tolsma, J., & Hagendoorn, L. (2010). Anti-Muslim attitudes in the Netherlands: Tests of contradictory hypotheses derived from ethnic competition theory and intergroup contact theory. European Sociological Review, 27, 741-758.
  • Verkuyten, M., & Yogeeswaran, K. (2017). The social psychology of intergroup toleration: A roadmap for theory and research. Personality and Social Psychology Review. Doi: 10.1177/1088868316640974.
  • Voas, D. & F. Fleischmann (2012). Islam moves west: religious change in the first and second generation. Annual Review of Sociology, 38, 525-545.

Coordinators: Bram Lancee, Marcel Lubbers (contact information)

In the spotlight

Private: SOCION: 30 million euros for social cohesion research

The SOCION consortium, in which social sciences and humanities researchers from five different knowledge institutions are conducting research on social cohesion, has secured a €30 million Summit Grant

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