Social Life

Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)


In this chapter, we explore the social domain of integration, situating migrant spouses’ patterns of social contacts, and drawing out their implications for integration in other domains. As the Labour Force Survey does not provide data on social networks, the discussion is based on rich qualitative material from the MMI project. The inclusion in the sample not just of migrant spouses and their partners but also intranational couples enables us to tease out the social implications of migration from the impact of experiences shared across couple types such as life stage (marriage and child rearing) as well as the opportunities and barriers presented by differing social contexts. Key themes are the ways in which families can facilitate but also impede integration processes; the importance of temporality; the impacts of patterns of employment, and of discrimination.


  1. Ajrouch, K. J., Antonucci, T. C., & Janovic, M. J. (2001). Social networks among Blacks and Whites: The interaction between race and age. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 56(2), 112–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anthias, F. (2007). Ethnic ties: Social capital and the question of mobilizability. The Sociological Review, 55(4), 788–805.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bailey, A., & Boyle, P. (2004). Untying and retying family migration in the New Europe. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 30(2), 229–241.Google Scholar
  4. Bolt, G., Özüekren, A. S., & Phillips, D. (2010). Linking integration and residential segregation. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36(2), 169–186.Google Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1986). The forms of capital. In J. Richardson (Ed.), Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education (pp. 241–258). New York: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brubaker, R., Feischmidt, M., Fox, J., & Grancea, L. (2006). Nationalist politics and everyday ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Carrera, S. (2006). A comparison of integration programmes in the EU: Trends and weaknesses (CEPS CHALLENGE Papers 1). Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  8. Cederberg, M. (2012). Migrant networks and beyond: Exploring the value of the notion of social capital for making sense of ethnic inequalities. Acta Sociologica, 55(1), 59–72.Google Scholar
  9. Charsley, K. (2013). Transnational Pakistani connections: Marrying ‘back home’. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Charsley, K., & Bolognani, M. (2017). Being a freshie is (not) cool: Stigma, capital and disgust in British Pakistani stereotypes of new subcontinental migrants. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 40(1), 43–62.Google Scholar
  11. Charsley, K., & Bolognani, M. (2019). Marrying ‘in’/marrying ‘out’? Blurred boundaries in British Pakistani marriage choices. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 1–18.
  12. Charsley, K., & Ersanilli, E. (2019). The ‘Mangetar Trap’? Work, family and Pakistani migrant husbands. NORMA, 14(2), 128–145.Google Scholar
  13. Charsley, K., & Liversage, A. (2015). Silenced husbands: Muslim marriage migration and masculinity. Men and Masculinities, 18(4), 489–508.Google Scholar
  14. Cheong, P. H., Edwards, R., Goulbourne, H., & Solomos, J. (2007). Immigration, social cohesion and social capital: A critical review. Critical Social Policy, 27(1), 24–49.Google Scholar
  15. Davidoff, I. (2006). Do skilled immigrants perform better than their family reunion counterparts? Harvard University John F Kennedy School of Government Working Paper Series. Accessed 5 July 2019.
  16. Erdal, M. B. (2013). Migrant transnationalism and multi-layered integration: Norwegian-Pakistani migrants’ own reflections. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(6), 983–999.Google Scholar
  17. Ertel, K. A., Glymour, M. M., & Berkman, L. F. (2009). Social networks and health: A life course perspective integrating observational and experimental evidence. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26(1), 73–92.Google Scholar
  18. Fog Olwig, K. (2011). ‘Integration’: Migrants and refugees between Scandinavian welfare societies and family relations. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 37(2), 179–196.Google Scholar
  19. Fokkema, T., & De Haas, H. (2015). Pre‐ and post‐migration determinants of socio‐cultural integration of African immigrants in Italy and Spain. International Migration, 53(6), 3–26.Google Scholar
  20. Grannovetter, M. S. (1973). The strength of weak ties. American Journal of Sociology, 78(6), 1360–1380.Google Scholar
  21. Grillo, R. (2008). The family in dispute: Insiders and Outsiders. In R. Grillo (Ed.), The family in question: Immigrant and ethnic minorities in multicultural Europe. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Janssends, J., & Verweel, P. (2014). The significance of sports clubs within multicultural society: On the accumulation of social capital by migrants in culturally ‘mixed’ and ‘separate’ sports clubs. European Journal for Sport and Society, 11(1), 35–58.Google Scholar
  23. Jayaweera, H. (2012). Migration, integration and transnational involvement: Muslim family migrants in urban areas in Britain. In K. Charsley (Ed.), Transnational marriage: New perspectives from Europe and beyond. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Jenkins, R. (2008). Social identity. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar
  25. Johnson-Hanks, J. (2002). On the limits of life stages in ethnography: Toward a theory of vital conjunctures. American Anthropologist, 104(3), 865–880.Google Scholar
  26. Kalmijn, M. (2003). Shared friendship networks and the life course: An analysis of survey data on married and cohabiting couples. Social Networks, 25(3), 231–249.Google Scholar
  27. Kaufman, E., & Cantle, T. (2016). Is segregation on the increase in the UK?
  28. Maxwell, R. (2012). Ethnic minority migrants in Britain and France: Integration trade-offs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. McDonald, S., & McNair, C. A. (2010). Social capital across the life course: Age and gendered patterns of network resources. Sociological Forum, 25(2), 335–359.Google Scholar
  30. Munch, A., McPherson, J. M., & Smith-Lovin, L. (1997). Gender, children, and social contact: The effects of childrearing for men and women. American Sociological Review, 62(4), 509–520.Google Scholar
  31. Nannestad, P., Lind Haase Svendsen, G., & Tinggaard Svendsen, G. (2008). Bridge over troubled water? Migration and social capital. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(4), 607–631.Google Scholar
  32. Oliver, C. (2013). The impact of restrictions and entitlements on the integration of family migrants. Oxford: COMPAS. Accessed 25 July 2019.
  33. Patulny, R. V., & Lind Haase Svendsen, G. (2007). Exploring the social capital grid: Bonding, bridging, qualitative, quantitative. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 27(1/2), 32–51.Google Scholar
  34. Portes, A., Fernandez-Kelly, P., & Haller, W. (2005). Segmented assimilation on the ground: The new second generation in early adulthood. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 28(6), 1000–1040.Google Scholar
  35. Portes, A., & Rumbaut, R. G. (2001). Legacies: The story of the immigrant second generation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  36. Raghuram, P. (2004). The difference that skills make: Gender, family migration strategies and regulated labour markets. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 30(2), 303–321.Google Scholar
  37. Ryan, L. (2007). Migrant women, social networks and motherhood: The experiences of Irish nurses in Britain. Sociology, 41(2), 295–312.Google Scholar
  38. Ryan, L. (2011). Migrants’ social networks and weak ties: Accessing resources and constructing relationships post-migration. The Sociological Review, 59(4), 707–724.Google Scholar
  39. Schinkel, W. (2011). The nationalization of desire: Transnational marriage in Dutch culturist integration discourse. Focaal—Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, 2011(59), 99–106.Google Scholar
  40. Schlenzka, N. (2006). Female marriage migrants: Awareness raising and violence prevention. Berlin: Edition Parabolis.Google Scholar
  41. Tossutti, L. S., & Wang, M., (2006). Family and religious networks: Stimulants or barriers to civic participation and the integration of newcomers? Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, York University, Toronto.Google Scholar
  42. Vertovec, S., & Cohen, R. (Eds.). (2002). Conceiving cosmopolitanism: Theory, context and practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sociology, Politics and International StudiesUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.BristolUK
  3. 3.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Centre on Migration, Policy and SocietyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations