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CORDIS - Risultati della ricerca dell’UE

Where do I belong? The effects of uncertainty-identity on acculturation outcomes for migrants in Germany

Final Report Summary - BELONGINGNESS (Where do I belong? The effects of uncertainty-identity on acculturation outcomes for migrants in Germany)

Successful integration of migrants into European societies is a core issue for the European Union and regarding the recent developments with the influx of refugees it developed into an even more pressing issue. This project aimed at investigating multiple perspectives about migrants’ integration.

The overall aim of this research project was to investigate why some migrants maladapt to the host society and choose to identify with a subgroup within the host society. For this purpose, the project was subdivided into three phases in which the first phase was devoted to understanding the meaning of integration in the German context from the migrant and majority member perspective.

The second phase included a large scale quantitative survey study which targeted majority members (Germans) and minority members (migrants in a broader sense) with a total sample size of 982. Since one of the aims was to eventually have population-representative proportions of participants from each federal German state, data collection is still ongoing to achieve that goal.

However, the preliminary findings are interesting in their own right. The subsequently reported findings are based on a sample size of 603 participants representing the majority. These participants had German citizenship and self-identified themselves with being German. The mean age was 28.24 (SD = 10.11 range: 17-80), 33.5% were male participants. Data were collected online using diverse online forums and Facebook groups. The target populations were migrants and individuals with a migration background (i.e. individuals with at least one parent not born in Germany). We collected data from two different populations: One sample included participants solely associating with their own ethnic group (ethnic sample: N = 135, Mean age = 27.41 SD = 7.91 age range: 16-59; Male = 41.5%). Another sample encompasses participants associating both with being German and with their own ethnic group (bicultural sample: N = 241, Mean age = 28.01 SD = 9.31 age range: 16-60; Male = 31.1%).

The ethnic sample was quite mixed regarding the make-up of ethnicities with participants predominately originating from Turkey,
Eastern European countries, and the Middle East. For the bicultural sample the composition was similar; it included participants of Turkish, Eastern European, Latin American, and Western European descent.
Main variables of interest were the assessment of general feelings of belongingness, feeling secure, feeling connected to Germans (for migrants), multicultural orientation (integration), national orientation (assimilation) and ethnic orientation (separation) as well as well-being measures, such as 'flourishing.' Flourishing captures self-perceived success in important areas such as relationships, self-esteem, purpose, and optimism. The preliminary results point to two main findings that are very promising and interesting: There seems to be a relationship between a multicultural orientation and flourishing for both kinds of samples: native Germans and migrants as well as Germans with a
migration background. One of the eminent findings is that the feeling to belong is predicting--over and above a multicultural orientation--flourishing and sociocultural competence in the bicultural sample and even stronger in the ethnic sample.

The results are being disseminated at an international and national conferences as well as being written up for publication.