Migrant Transnationalism and Multi-Layered Integration: Norwegian-Pakistani Migrants’ Own Reflections

Journal article

Erdal, Marta Bivand (2013) Migrant Transnationalism and Multi-Layered Integration: Norwegian-Pakistani Migrants’ Own Reflections, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 39 (6): 983–999.

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This article explores the interaction between migrant transnationalism and integration by interrogating the concept of integration from a transnational perspective. Integration is shown to be a multi-layered phenomenon, encompassing both descriptive and prescriptive elements—what is and what ought to be. The policies of individual nation-states define the legal-political dimensions of integration in particular contexts, at times contributing to a normative understanding of integration that presupposes a conflict between migrants' transnationalism and their integration, particularly along the socio-cultural dimension. A critical consideration of the implications of the multiple layers of integration for the individuals directly affected—that is, the migrants themselves—is proposed, and provides the basis for my examination. The data consist of 30 semi-structured interviews conducted with Pakistani migrants and their descendants in Norway, analysis of which reveals the existence of tensions between migrants' functional approach to integration on the one hand, and state policy on integration on the other, all pointing to unresolved issues related to citizenship and identity.

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