Living Together Apart

Ethnic concentration in the neighbourhood and ethnic minorities' social contacts and language practices

Living Together Apart
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Miranda Vervoort
Publication date
17 June 2011
ethnic minorities, integration, concentration
Number of pages
978 90 377 0552 2

Together with the rise in ethnic residential concentration, attention for the potential negative consequences of ethnic concentration in the neighbourhood for ethnic minorities' integration has also increased in recent years. And although many neighbourhood interventions have been implemented, there is still a lack of scientific knowledge concerning the effects of ethnic residential concentration on ethnic minorities' integration. This dissertation seeks to expand current scientific knowledge and to contribute to the public debate by studying the effects of ethnic residential concentration on ethnic minorities' social contacts and language practices.

The main results indicate that ethnic residential concentration is related to less social contact with natives, but more social contact with co-ethnics. Through these social contacts, ethnic residential concentration hinders ethnic minorities' majority language proficiency and use. Moreover, ethnic residential concentration is found to constrain the strength of ethnic minorities' social ties with natives and the rise in ethnic concentration partly explains the stagnation of ethnic minorities' social contacts with natives over time. Implications of these results are discussed.

Miranda Vervoort (1984) obtained her Research Master's degree in Educational Sciences in 2007 (Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen). She conducted the present research between 2008 and 2011, whilst employed at the Netherlands Institute for Social Research | SCP and the Department of Sociology/ICS at Utrecht University.