October 25, 2004

Assimilation of ethnic minorities in Germany

Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis August 2004, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 159-183(25)

Immigrant Cultures, State Policies and Social Capital Formation in Germany

Dietrich Thränhardt


Germany's six largest immigrant groups, from Turkey, Italy, Greece, Spain, Poland and the former Yugoslavia, have large discrepancies with respect to economic and educational success. Whereas the Spanish assimilated in one generation, and the Polish group is about to repeat that pattern, the Greeks kept their distinctiveness. Both groups were largely successful, in contrast to the Italian immigrants who lag behind, as well as the Turkish group. The article discusses various explanations that have been given and focusses on the development of immigrants' social capital and network building as the major reason for success.


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