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.

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Selected Publications

Söhn, Janina (2010): "Bildungsunterschiede und der Einfluss gruppenspezifischer Migrations- und Integrationspolitiken. Aussiedler und andere Angehörige der neuen ersten Migrantengeneration im Vergleich". In: Hans-Georg Soeffner (Hg.): Unsichere Zeiten. Herausforderungen gesellschaftlicher Transformationen. Verhandlungen des 34. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in Jena 2008. Bd. 2, CD-ROM. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, S. CD-ROM.
Söhn, Janina (2010): "Rechtsstatus und Bildungschancen - Die staatliche Ungleichbehandlung von Migrantengrup-pen und ihre Folgen". In: Migration und Soziale Arbeit, H. 3/4, S. 276-282.
Söhn, Janina (2009): "Nicht alle sind gleich. Der Rechtsstatus beeinflusst Bildungschancen von Migranten". In: WZB-Mitteilungen, H. 126, S. 14-17.
Söhn, Janina (2008): "Bildungsunterschiede zwischen Migrantengruppen in Deutschland. Schulabschlüsse von Aussiedlern und anderen Migranten der ersten Generation im Vergleich". In: Berliner Journal für Soziologie, Jg. 18, H. 3, S. 401-431.
Söhn, Janina (2008): Bildungschancen junger Aussiedler(innen) und anderer Migrant(inn)en der ersten Generation. Ergebnisse des DJI-Jugendsurveys zu den Einwandererkohorten seit Ende der 1980er-Jahre. WZB Discussion Paper SP I 2008-503. Berlin: WZB.