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Ethnic economic capital in neighbourhoods: impact on immigrants’ employment opportunities
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute for Housing and Urban Research. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
(English)In: Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Does living in areas characterized by high co-ethnic concentrations deprive ethnic minority groups, or does potential access to an extended ethnic network with valuable resources further their integration? This paper takes a new approach to analysing the potential of ethnic economic capital in neighbourhoods to increase employment opportunities. While many studies employ aggregated administrative neighbourhood data, an important methodological advance here is that we use individualized, scalable neighbourhoods. This enables us to apply a flexible approach in studying the existence and impact of ethnic economic capital in neighbourhoods. In addition, we not only focus on the concentration of co-ethnics, or on local economic factors, but also measure ethnic economic capital in neighbourhoods as the rate of employed co-ethnics. We employ individual longitudinal Swedish registry data for 2000–2010 on working-age males of Iraqi, Iranian, Turkish, and Somalian backgrounds in Stockholm, Göteborg, and Malmö. We find that an increased share of employed co-ethnics positively affects males’ employment prospects. We add to existing knowledge by showing that the effect of ethnic clustering on employment outcomes is conditional on the quality of ethnic networks – i.e., ethnic economic capital – and on the scale of measurement.

Keywords [en]
neighbourhood effects, ethnic economic capital, employment, scale, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-378789OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-378789DiVA, id: diva2:1295124
Available from: 2019-03-10 Created: 2019-03-10 Last updated: 2019-03-10
In thesis
1. Moving out, moving up, becoming employed: Studies in the residential segregation and social integration of immigrants in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moving out, moving up, becoming employed: Studies in the residential segregation and social integration of immigrants in Sweden
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates the complex relationship between residential segregation and social integration. The dominant discourse in Sweden and Europe sees residential segregation as hindering socioeconomic and cultural integration, creating parallel societies and even threatening the social cohesion of European societies. Residential segregation might be a sign of social exclusion and discrimination, but it might also result from informed choices to self-segregate into particular neighbourhoods. Minority ethnic clustering, some argue, might have positive attributes, such as providing access to social capital embedded in ethnic communities. This thesis analyses the relationship between segregation and integration from the perspectives of two research traditions: drivers of segregation and neighbourhood effects. The thesis employs individual annual Swedish registry data and a k-nearest neighbour approach to identify residential neighbourhood contexts.

Paper I studies the out-mobility of three cohorts of young adults from large housing estates (LHEs) in Stockholm County against the backdrop of increasing inequality, stigmatization, and deteriorating conditions in these areas. From 1990 to 2014, income became more and ethnicity less important in explaining mobility. However, it is the combination of the two that determined sorting for all cohorts. The study also clarifies how different neighbourhood conditions within LHEs affect sorting patterns.

Paper II analyses the residential mobility of immigrants towards native-dominated neighbourhoods. The study concludes that ethnic hierarchies strongly shape residential outcomes and increased income alone does not necessarily translate into residential mobility. However, spatial integration can be facilitated by a better housing market position at the start of the housing career in Sweden, improved socioeconomic outcomes, and residing outside metropolitan areas.

Paper III examines the potential of ethnic economic capital in the neighbourhood (measured as share of employed co-ethnics) to bolster employment prospects. The results of the multi-scalar analysis of four immigrant groups show that an increase in ethnic economic capital can have a positive effect on immigrant males’ employment prospects, but the effect size varies between groups and neighbourhood scales.

The main conclusion of this thesis is that the relationship between residential segregation and social integration is not straightforward, but rather is complex and nuanced. It varies between groups with different backgrounds, but also between settlement contexts within Sweden and between neighbourhood contexts within cities. It changes over time and is influenced by the spatial scale of neighbourhood context measurements. This thesis demonstrates the usefulness of employing flexible scalable individual neighbourhoods in conceptualising space when studying social processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Social and Economic Geography, 2019. p. 84
Series
Geographica, ISSN 0431-2023 ; 23
Keywords
Residential segregation, social integration, residential mobility, neighbourhood effects, k-nearest neighbour, Sweden
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-378934 (URN)978-91-506-2749-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-04-26, Sal IV, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-04-05 Created: 2019-03-10 Last updated: 2019-04-05

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