Enquiry into the factors which impact on ‘integration’ requires clarity on the nature of the integration processes in which individuals are engaged, the intersection of those processes and the factors that may affect their operation over time. Elaborating on debates among European scholars which conceptualise integration as a series of multi-directional, inter-active processes in related but separate domains, we use the term ‘effectors’ to explore five sets of factors which have been shown to facilitate or impede those processes, setting out a framework capable of empirical and comparative application. We demonstrate the utility of this model in a case study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (2013–2015) exploring the impact of transnational marriages in the UK, illustrating the conceptual and empirical value of the model when investigating the complexity of the factors involved in shaping the outcomes of integration processes. The model is illustrated in diagrammatic form. The case study in turn informs the model, highlighting the relevance of family and life-course events within an understanding of the full range of factors impacting on the integration processes in which individuals are engaged.
Spencer, S. & Charsley, K. (2016) Conceptualising integration: a framework for empirical research, taking marriage migration as a case study, Comparative Migration Studies 4: 18. doi:10.1186/s40878-016-0035-x
This paper was first presented at a workshop panel session of the 2015 IMISCOE conference in Geneva, entitled ‘Integration as a Multi-Faceted Process: New Research Based Insights’, on 27 June 2015.