Micro-Level Processes of Immigrant-Native Residential Integration in Dublin
Zoua M. Vang, McGill University
Interview data with African immigrants and Irish nationals are used to examine preferences in neighborhood ethnic composition. Results show that African immigrants prefer integrated neighborhoods and eschew homogenous neighborhoods comprising of either all African or all Irish neighbors. Irish respondents prefer neighborhoods in which there is a majority of Irish residents but did not oppose integration with African immigrants. Residential integration satisfies both African immigrants’ and Irish nationals’ individual and collective efforts to avoid immigrant or ethnic ghettos, albeit for different reasons. African immigrants favored integration in order to avoid potential stigma and racial profiling associated with ghetto residence. In contrast, residential integration was a way for the Irish respondents to hold on to ownership of their residential and social spaces. Irish nationals viewed immigrant ghettos as undesirable because it jeopardizes their claims to ownership of residential space and the social and cultural institutions in Irish society more generally.