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Sonja Haug (2004)

Social Integration by Social Embeddedness in Family, Kinship, and Friendship Networks*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 29, 2/2004, p. 163-191, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

The social embeddedness of 18- to-30-year-old respondents of German, Italian and Turkish origin is examined based on the BiB’s integration survey. Social capital and social integration are analysed using household size, the size of kinship networks in Germany and in the country of origin, the origin of the parents and partnerships and friendships with Germans.

Young German adults leave their parents' home earlier, and more frequently live alone or in smaller households than Italian- or Turkish-origin respondents. Whilst the latter have larger households and larger kinship and friendship networks than Germans, the majority of their relatives live in the home country, and their friends are seldom German. The exception here is the case of Italians with German nationality, most of whom have German-Italian parents. Whilst migrants have at least equivalent social resources, their social capital is of little use for social integration in Germany. In both ethnic groups, having German nationality means having more friendships with Germans. Differences between Italian- and Turkish-origin respondents, and also between the genders, are above all a result of schooling, language knowledge and indirect ethnic-cultural factors such as intergenerational relationship standards and religious aspects (affiliation to Islam and extended religiosity). Social integration is hence determined by structural and cultural aspects of integration; however, the family background plays a decisive role. A major result is the cumulative effect of social relationships with Germans; contacts in the parents' home impact the circle of friends, and both play a major role in choosing a partner. One-third of Italian-origin and 5 % of Turkish-origin respondents in the integration survey has inherited host country-specific social capital in the shape of a German-origin parent, and hence a higher potential for social integration. Naturalisation, by contrast, has a relatively small impact on social embeddedness.

* Original title: Soziale Integration durch soziale Einbettung in Familie, Verwandtschafts- und Freundesnetzwerke (full text in German only)

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