• Md Riad Arefin
4. term, Global Refugee Studies, Master (Master Programme)
This research study was made in the summer of 2016 and explores the lives of immigrants in Denmark form a perspective of cultural assimilation and labor market integration.
The purpose of this research was to compare the experiences and views of European and non-European immigrants integrated into the Danish unskilled labor market.
The study is structured as a theoretical framework based on Gordon’s assimilation theory and the labor market segmentation theory. The work commences by outlining the scholarly literature by means of an heuristic literature review encompassing relevant works. This theory was then adapted to the realities of the Danish labor market and applied by means of a qualitative semi-structured questionnaire to European and non-European immigrants in Denmark. The experiences of the two immigrant categories have been compared with each other and with the declarations of Danes on topics of immigrant integration. Immigrants have been selected from the unskilled labor market.
The findings of the study showed a gap between the experience of European and non-European immigrants. Non-European immigrants come from culturally dissimilar backgrounds, lack linguistic knowledge, and are adopted with more difficulty by Danish people than European immigrants. This leads to category segregation and lengthy periods of integration of non-Europeans.
Research limitations/implications
The research is qualitative and, although it identified the main factors that prevent labor market integration and cultural assimilation of non-European immigrants, it lacks the wide applicability of quantitative studies. The findings may or may not be valid for the entire immigrant and Danish population.
Practical implications
This study has applications in the integration of immigrants. The host countries can use this knowledge to create better integration policies that would help immigrants become a part of the new country and contribute to the economy.
The research fulfills a knowledge gap that has been identified based on the literature review. This work constitutes a step toward the comprehension of immigrant life realities in Denmark.

Keywords: Immigrant, Cultural assimilation, Labor market, Integration, Discrimination, Denmark
Publication date1 Aug 2016
Number of pages49
ID: 238016042