Immigration, social cohesion and social capital: What are the links?

Roger Zetter, David Griffiths and Nando Sigona

This study explores the interaction between migrants’ social relationships in their community (their social capital) and the development of a stable and integrated society (social cohesion) at the local level.

An exploration of how migrants’ ‘social capital’ (their social relationships in their community) interacts with local ‘social cohesion’. 

This study explores the interaction between migrants’ social relationships in their community (their social capital) and the development of a stable and integrated society (social cohesion) at the local level.  The concept of social capital – how individuals and groups invest in social relationships and share resources – resonates with current concerns about how different communities, notably minority ethnic groups, relate to their wider social world.

The report:

  • outlines how the increasing volume and diversity of migrants has affected the political landscape;  
  • reviews the Government’s prioritisation of ‘social cohesion’: aimed at countering the perceived challenges which new migrants pose to a cohesive ‘national identity’, this shifts significantly away from the longstanding promotion of multi-culturalism and the acceptance of ‘difference’; 
  • questions the extent to which ‘social capital’ can reconcile contradictions between social cohesion and the social differences between diverse migrant communities.

Available in electronic format only.

Two papers look at related issues:

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