About but not without: Recently arrived refugees’ understanding of and expectations for integration within a local policy context in the Netherlands

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Abstract

In discussions on integration, the perspective of newcomers themselves is rarely included. As recently arrived refugees’ integration is subject to policy, we investigate their understanding of and expectations for integration within a (local) policy context in the Netherlands. Using focus group data with Syrian and Eritrean refugees recently settled in Rotterdam, results show participants understood integration as not being marked as different and becoming self-reliant (through work, language, social connections, and cultural knowledge). While partly coinciding with policy objectives, participants emphasized mutual effort, especially socio-culturally. Policy implementation was particularly criticized, pointing toward the need for extensive, practical, and person-oriented support. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2021.2023720.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jan 2022

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