Reciprocity for new migrant integration: resource conservation, investment and exchange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper we bring a new perspective to the understanding of migrant integration. We focus on how new migrants use reciprocity to make and sustain connections. In turn, we identify integration resources accessed through those connections and associated acts of reciprocal exchange. Using qualitative data collected in retrospective interviews from a maximum variation sample of new migrants arriving in the U.K. up to two years before interview, we identify five interconnected subtypes of reciprocity and explore how these are used to replace or substitute resources lost through the act of migration. We argue that, contrary to Hobfoll’s [2011] ideas about conservation of resources in crisis, migrants use resource exchange strategies to develop social networks which may form important buffers against migratory stress and aid access to functional, psychological and affective resources that can further integration. The paper concludes by highlighting the significance of reciprocity in moving the theorisation of integration in new a new direction.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-232
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume44
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Migrants, resources, reciprocity, integration