Exploring the demands of assimilation among white ethnic majorities in Western Europe

2013-08-21T11:14:23Z (GMT) by Marco Antonsich
Since the mid-1990s, assimilation has gradually regained momentum as both a normative and an analytical concept for understanding the ways in which migrants are incorporated into societies at large. Although scholars have investigated various dimensions of this process, they have tended to privilege the experience of migrants themselves. Comparatively little attention has been dedicated to the perspective of the dominant groups, particularly in relation to what ethnic majority people demand that migrants do in order to be accepted. This article explores these demands of assimilation through qualitative data collected among white local elites in four regional case-studies in Western Europe. The analysis reveals a different picture from the one usually portrayed by 'new assimilation theory'. Accordingly, I suggest rethinking assimilation in ways which incorporate more fully the plurality of demands put forward by dominant ethnic groups. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.