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The Integration of Immigrants in Iceland : Subjective indicators of integration based on language, media use, and creative practice

The Integration of Immigrants in Iceland : Subjective indicators of integration based on language, media use, and creative practice


Title: The Integration of Immigrants in Iceland : Subjective indicators of integration based on language, media use, and creative practice
Author: Hoffmann, Lara Wilhelmine
Meckl, Markus Hermann
Skaptadóttir, Unnur Dís   orcid.org/0000-0002-8350-3898
Höller, Yvonne   orcid.org/0000-0002-1727-8557
Bjarnason, Þóroddur
Date: 2022
Language: English
Scope: 196
Department: Faculty of Social Sciences
ISBN: 978-9935-505-04-0
Subject: Innflytjendur; Aðlögunarhæfni; Ísland; Tungumál; Fjölmiðlar; Listir; Integration; Immigrants; Iceland; Language; Media
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/3844

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Citation:

Hoffmann , L W 2022 , ' The Integration of Immigrants in Iceland : Subjective indicators of integration based on language, media use, and creative practice ' , Doctor , University of Akureyri , Akureyri .

Abstract:

This PhD project investigates aspects of immigrants’ integration in Iceland based on language use, media use, and creative practice. Traditionally, studies present integration as a linear process focussing on objective measures. Less attention has been paid to the immigrants’ subjective perceptions of integration, which provide insights into immigrants’ personal evaluations of integration processes. Integration, in this thesis, is understood as a multifaceted process covering social, economic, and political factors and subjective perceptions (life satisfaction and immigrants’ trust in the receiving society.) This thesis aims to answer the research question of how immigrants in Iceland experience integration. Statistical analysis of quantitative data conducted amongst immigrants (N=2139) and Icelanders (N=3395) was combined with qualitative analysis of interviews (N=15). In addition, this thesis incorporates a cross analysis of the research conducted and studies conducted by the article co-authors in Iceland, a comparative approach combining research conducted in Iceland and in the Faroe Islands by a co-author of an article, and an analysis of an artistic event at the Reykjavík City Library. Immigrants’ embeddedness in the receiving society was most relevant for their life satisfaction in the receiving society. The immigrants’ linguistic profile was less pertinent, challenging the common notion of language as being key to integration. Immigrants were generally motivated to learn Icelandic, but immigrants also recognized limitations to linguistic integration considering prevailing language attitudes and a lack of quality courses that are accessible. Immigrants simultaneously participate in multiple online and offline communities. Those who are frequently in contact with their countries of origin through media and social media were less involved in their receiving communities offline but more involved online. Findings show that integration is a highly contextual, individual experience conditioned by the immigrants’ aspirations and capabilities and the framework provided by the receiving society. Immigrants can further experience feelings of belonging and integration in multiple communities simultaneously.

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