Social Exchange and Reciprocal Integration between Migrants and Hosts at Work

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We develop new theory of reciprocal integration between migrants and hosts, with a view to investigating and establishing the idea that integration goes both ways and requires mutual engagement between the two parties. Reciprocal integration is provisionally defined as micro exchange interactions involving perceived symmetry and mutual engagement between migrants and hosts. We focus specifically on work interactions in organizations because successful and meaningful employment is the single most important determinant of migrants’ overall integration in society and potential net fiscal contribution (OECD 2013). So far, integration has remained heavily conceptualized and operationalized as a one-way street, that is, the primary responsibility of migrants (at the interpersonal level) or nation states (at the institutional level). We know very little about the role of hosts, including employers and native employees. We do know, however, that hosts who are unable or unwilling to reciprocally engage with migrants risk missing out on their potential professional and/or social contributions, and may even experience threats to their sense of belonging ‘at home’ (or in this case, ‘at work’). Through the development of a theoretical model based on social exchange theory, the paper explores the micro-dynamics of reciprocal integration at work, and how reciprocal integration relates to higher-order phenomena such as social cohesion and multiculturalism.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event19th Nordic Migration Research Conference. NMR 2018 : New (Im)mobilities: Migration and Race in the Era of Authoritarianism - Norrköping, Sweden
Duration: 15 Aug 201817 Aug 2018
Conference number: 19


Conference19th Nordic Migration Research Conference. NMR 2018
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