The Meaning of Space for Civic and Political Participation of Immigrants

Friday, July 18, 2014: 4:30 PM
Room: 313+314
Oral Presentation
Nihad EL-KAYED , Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
The topic of immigrant voluntary organizations and their importance for immigrant incorporation has gained more and more attention in recent years. However, so far we have a limited understanding of how the spatial distribution of voluntary organizations affects immigrant civic participation, although immigrant organizations cluster in certain cities and even in certain spaces in cities.

The presentation is empirically based on a multilevel-study which is currently conducted in 30 Berlin neighborhoods and focuses on inhabitants with a Turkish migration background (first data will be available at the end of this year). It examines especially if the residential context affects the likelihood that immigrants participate civically, mainly through the spatial availability of immigrant networks and immigrant organizations. Thus, it examines in essence if access to civic participation is spatially segregated.

In a first step the presentation analyses if and how the spatial availability of civic organizations influences civic participation of Turkish immigrants in Berlin. This is examined in relation to personal resources such as education, income, citizenship status and access to informal networks. In a second step it is asked how this affects different kinds of political participation.

The central question that is asked here is how immigrant organizations are embedded in space and how this affects the process of civic and political inclusion of immigrants. This will be examined in relation to several dimensions of personal resources such as education, income and citizenship status.