The multicultural drama in perspective

04 April 2019 - 10:17

40 years of lifecycle for migrants and non-migrants in the Netherlands

  • Project lead: Leo Lucassen
  • Grant: € 500,000  (€ 182.540 IISH) by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Start: 2017
  • Partner: NIDI

The aim of the research project is to gain more insight into the integration process of children of immigrants by linking socio-economic and cultural aspects. It examines to what extent the social mobility of young people with a migrant origin differs from native Dutch peers with a comparable socio-economic position.

Social mobility

Children born in The Netherlands of migrants from, among others, Turkey and North Africa form a growing part of the Dutch population. Studies show that a significant proportion of them don't do as well in school and on the labor market as their peers without a migration background. Moreover, boys are overrepresented in crime statistics. On the other hand, a part of the children has found its place and is experiencing sometimes spectacular social mobility.

So there are indications for both social stagnation / decline and rise. Nevertheless, in public and political perception, the image of "immigrants at the top of the wrong lists" dominates. An important cause of this perception is that children of, for example, Moroccan or Turkish origin (with predominantly low-educated parents) are almost always compared with the Dutch average, regardless of social background. As a result of this unequal race, we are not sure what the causes are of their disadvantage: class or culture?

Better comparisons are not only required, but are now also available. This project therefore compares the integration process of different cohorts of children of migrants with Dutch peers from corresponding social environments.

In addition, previous research focuses almost exclusively on the urban context, and this project also focuses on regional differences in the outcomes of young people with a migrant origin.

In order to carry out the research, the IISH and NIDI work together with the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) and make use of the System of Social Statistical Files (SSB).

The project is being implemented at the IISH and NIDI and started in the summer of 2017. The project leaders are prof. Leo Lucassen (director of research IISH) and prof. Helga de Valk (Threat leader Migration and migrants at NIDI)

IISH Collections | Historisch Beeldarchief Migranten