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A Mixed-Method Study Comparing Migrant Integration Outcomes in Five Global Cities

By: Published: 2019 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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What interests me as a scholar and a person is how diversity is being lived in urban environments, what multiculturalism looks like on the ground. On the heels of a sabbatical year of fieldwork in 2014–2015, I have just completed an investigation into the impact that the severe economic downturn following the financial crisis of 2007–2008 has had on the integration of urban migrants in Europe and North America. I compare the experiences of migrants from five countries of origin (Ghana, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, and Serbia) in five similar, secondary global cities: Barcelona, Chicago, Hamburg, Montréal, and Toronto. My work uses statistical analysis to gauge changes in residential concentration and segregation, unemployment, poverty, and social assistance rates—what is generally referred to as structural integration. I also provide qualitative analyses of individual city neighborhoods where migrant groups have settled, exploring the areas’ evolution and the ambivalent impact that local policy responses have had on their residents’ quality of life. Gathering the data for this project has given me insights into both the challenges and the rewards of migrant integration research, comparative urban research, and mixed-methods research.

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