The Matrix of Attachment: Immigrant Integration and Transnationalism

Immigrants typically have attachments in two directions: to the country in which they live, and to their country of origin. These attachments are often discussed in terms of integration and transnationalism, respectively. A new conceptual framework, which we call the matrix of attachment, enables us to examine immigrant integra-tion and transnationalism simultaneously. This perspective, we argue, can inspire more nuanced analyses and policy development. We use this framework to analyze variations in attachment among immigrants in Norway.

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PHOTO:”Arrival” by Craig Berry. CC 2.0

  • Immigrant integration and transnationalism are neither related in a fixed way nor independent of each other.
  • A substantial proportion of immigrants have weak attachments to both their country of origin and their country of residence.
  • There is great variation between immigrants from different countries in patterns of transnationalism and integration.
  • In Norway, immigrants from Turkey are particularly likely to be strongly oriented towards their country of origin rather than to their country of residence.

Read more in a recent Policy Brief from the PREMIG project ‘Possibilities and Realities of Return Migration‘. This Policy Brief is also available in Norwegian.

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