Biographies and the doubleness of inclusion and exclusion

M. Eijberts, H. Ghorashi

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Integration is often considered to be comprised of different
dimensions which can influence each other in a linear fashion. For
instance, if one becomes more proficient in the host country’s
language, one’s labor market participation should also increase. In
the Netherlands, this assumption has led to a plethora of policies
(like mandatory integration courses) having targeted especially
‘Muslim’ women of Moroccan and Turkish descent, who are
perceived as most isolated in society. Obliging them to learn
Dutch was believed to increase their economic integration and
their sense of home, the latter being considered pivotal for overall
successful integration. However, the question is whether
dimensions of integration really influence each other in this linear
fashion – under all circumstances. With the help of biographical
research conducted with first- and second-generation women of
Moroccan and Turkish descent in the Netherlands and focusing
on both linguistic and economic integration and their effects on
sense of belonging, this study shows that mastering the new
language and increasing labor market participation can actually
have paradoxical non-linear, even curvilinear effects, leading to a
decrease in sense of belonging. We try to capture this paradoxical
phenomenon with the term doubleness of inclusion and exclusion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-178
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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