Community Involvement as a Vehicle for Integration: A Study with Young Immigrants

Daniela Marzana, Elena Marta, Sara Alfieri, Virginia Paloma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Immigrants are often exposed to conditions of economic deprivation or to hardships of a social nature connected to their status. These factors increase their feeling of impotence, thus slowing down the integrative process. An element that could counter these disadvantaged conditions is participation in an association that promotes immigrants’ demands on a socio-political level. The first aim of this study is understanding the relationships between involvement and integration. The authors hypothesize that youth engaged in community are more integrated than not engaged immigrant youth. The second aim is to investigate the relationship between the type of activity, type of association and integration. The participants were 644 immigrant youth (Age range 19–35, 56.2%) that were involved in the community. The results show that involved immigrant youth report higher levels of both ethnic and national identity compared to not involved youth. Regarding the type of activity carried out, there is a statistically significant difference between activity of a social type, which obtains higher means, and of a civic type, which rather obtains lower means. While exploratory, the study shows and confirms the relationship between community engagement, young immigrants’ integration process and construction of identity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-157
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Civil Society
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Community involvement
  • ethnic identity
  • immigrant youth
  • integration
  • national identity


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