Language as a tool for Social Integration Perceptions of non-European Immigrants in Gothenburg.

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This study is an explorative qualitative study. This study aims to understand the social integration of non-European immigrants in Gothenburg, Sweden. The research focuses specifically on the language because many previous researches considered it as an essential element in social integration. There is a large research field that studies how language influence immigrant’s integration, but most studies focus on the perspective of the host society. There are less work explores how immigrants themselves perceive how language plays a role in their social integration process. This study used the Bosswick and Heckmann’s (2006) four dimensions of social integration theoretical framework and explored how non-European immigrants in Gothenburg, Sweden, perceive that language influence their social integration in their new home country. Their perceptions within these dimensions of the social integrations will help to know how language influences them to integrate with the Swedish society in Gothenburg. The data gathered by the semi-structured interviews with seventeen non-European immigrants. The result shows that the respondents perceive the importance of language in various ways in the different theoretical dimensions of social integration.

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