Policy-makers tend to view the residential segregation of minority ethnic groups in a negative light as it is seen as an obstacle to their integration. In the literature on neighbourhood effects, the residential concentration of minorities is seen as a major impediment to their social mobility and acculturation, while the literature on residential segregation emphasises the opposite causal direction, by focusing on the effect of integration on levels of (de-)segregation.
This volume, however, indicates that the link between integration and segregation is much less straightforward than is often depicted in academic literature and policy discourses. Based on research in a wide variety of western countries, it can be concluded that the process of assimilation into the housing market is highly complex and differs between and within ethnic groups. The integration pathway not only depends on the characteristics of migrants themselves, but also on the reactions of the institutions and the population of the receiving society. Linking Integration and Residential Segregation exposes the link between integration and segregation as a two-way relationship involving the minority ethnic groups and the host society, highlighting the importance of historical and geographical context for social and spatial outcomes.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.