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Education, Gender, Religion, Politics: What Priorities for Cultural Integration Policies in Switzerland?

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEID) Working Paper No. 08/2009

41 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2010  

Pierre Kohler

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID)

Date Written: June 30, 2009

Abstract

This study explores cultural integration paths of 8 migrant groups in Switzerland. It specifically analyzes the evolution of objective behaviors and subjective attitudes from the first to the second generation. To deepen our analysis, we look at this evolution from different perspectives: across cohorts (older vs. younger migrants) and across types of couples (individuals in endogamous vs. mixed couples). Gender differences are also paid attention to. First, we look at behaviors by examining performance of migrants at school (educational attainment and gender gap). As women play a key role in the transmission of cultural traits and the socialization of the second generation, we turn to their position in the couple (marriage, intermarriage, age and education gap between partners, early marriage, cohabitation, fertility, divorce) and on the labor market (labor force participation). Then we look at migrants' use of language, their feelings towards Switzerland, as well as their attitudes towards gender, religious and political issues. We find evidence of overall convergence. As the most striking and lasting differences across groups do not relate to educational achievement, religious or political attitudes, but to gender related attitudes and even more to gender related behaviors in endogamous couples, we recommend to better take into account migration-related gender issues and migration-specific “household dynamics” in the design of future cultural integration policies.

Keywords: Cultural Integration, Cultural Assimilation, Ethnicity, Switzerland, Migration, Immigration, First Generation, Second, Generation

JEL Classification: J15, J61, F22

Suggested Citation

Kohler, Pierre, Education, Gender, Religion, Politics: What Priorities for Cultural Integration Policies in Switzerland? (June 30, 2009). Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEID) Working Paper No. 08/2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1561050 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1561050

Pierre Kohler (Contact Author)

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) ( email )

PO Box 136
Geneva, CH-1211
Switzerland

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