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Die soziale Integration und der Ausschluss der Immigrantinnen in der Schweiz

English title Social integration and exclusion of immigrant women in Switzerland
Applicant Riaño Yvonne
Number 69125
Funding scheme NRP 51 Social Integration and Social Exclusion
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.11.2003 - 31.05.2008
Approved amount 336'707.00
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Keywords (5)

Migrant women; social integration; gender; discourse; integration policy

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Social integration and exclusion of immigrant women

Women make up the majority of immigrants entering Switzerland. Political and scientific discourses view immigrant women as poorly integrated, poorly educated and as victims of exploitation. We argue that they are far more diverse and that their social integration involves a wide variety of situations.

Gender issues have received little attention when studying the social inclusion and exclusion of immigrants in Switzerland. The differential effects of origin, ethnic factors, skills and legal status on the social integration of women have not been systematically analysed. The strategies that they devise to cope with the challenge of integration have been neglected. Analyses of the impact of public discourses and official policies on the social integration of immigrants have not addressed issues of gender. Too much attention has been given to poorly skilled female immigrants thus neglecting the skilled ones.

Aim and method
The aim of this project is to contribute to a differentiated understanding of migrant women and to the formulation of gender-sensitive integration policies by:
- investigating processes of social integration and social exclusion of different groups of migrant women, differentiated by country of origin, ethno-cultural characteristics and occupational skills;
- addressing the strategies that migrant women adopt to strive for social integration;
- examining the contents and effects of prevailing discourses and official policies regarding the social integration of migrant women.
The case studies conducted will include Latin American women and female migrants of Muslim origin. The research methods are qualitative and include participatory workshops, problem-centred interviews, expert interviews and discourse analysis.

It is expected that this project will: (1) strengthen the position of migrant women in Swiss society, (2) publicly place prejudiced discourses on migrant women into question, (3) help to formulate policies of social integration for migrants which take account of gender issues and which strengthen the initiatives of migrant women, and (4) build a conceptual bridge between academics, migrant associations and public authorities.
Scientifically, this project will contribute to: (1) filling an important gap in the Swiss literature on migration and social integration, (2) providing a differentiated understanding of migrant women as well as gender arrangements in Swiss society, (3) the possibility of theoretical innovations owing to the novel analytical integration of social actors, discourse and state policies.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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