The Impact of State Intervention on the Educational Integration of Immigrants: German 'Resettlers' and Non-German Immigrants Compared
Janina Söhn's doctoral thesis explores the role of immigration and integration policies for immigrant children's incorporation into their host country's school system. The empirical focus is on individuals who immigrated to Germany as minors since the end of the 1980s and began or continued their school career in German schools. These recent cohorts of young immigrants encompass a substantial number of persons whose educational attainment, however, has hardly been studied until now. Within this group of first generation immigrants, children of 'resettler families' (immigrants of German 'descent' from Eastern Europe) are compared with non-German immigrants. By comparing these particular groups, institutional determinants of educational opportunities can be analysed: In how far does it matter that the receiving state treats different immigrant groups with varying legal statuses differently, resettlers being an example of privileged immigration? A theoretical part will discuss ways in which immigration regulation, general and school-specific integration policies might impact immigrant groups’ educational achievements. This theoretical approach will be applied to the empirical case study: Do the actual institutional regulations in the case of resettlers and their comparison groups suggest that resettlers enjoy an educational head start? On the micro-level, three data sets (the Sample Census 2005, the third wave of the German Youth Survey and PISA-E 2003) will be analysed. We will test whether the resettler status with its implication of immigration and integration policies exerts direct or indirect influences (mitigated by individual or family-related factors) on educational attainment.