School of Arts and Humanities
The integration process for immigrants is a multi-dimensional concept, influenced by a wide range of structural and individual factors, including social connections that immigrants make in the host society. An important part of this social connection can be developed with other co-nation immigrants within the immigrant community. However, this sometimes can be challenging due to the divisions that might exist within communities. Drawing on data with a mixed-method design, this study focuses on the Afghan community in Western Australia to understand, firstly, the relationship between Afghan immigrants’ social connections within their community and successful integration within Australian society, and secondly the causes of divisions and challenges within the community. To do this, the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL) Integration Index was used to measure the level of integration among 115 Afghan participants in the quantitative phase, with 18 interviews and two focus groups conducted in the qualitative phase, to understand Afghan experiences of divisions within their community. Findings show that there is a correlation between Afghans’ social connections within their community and the four dimensions of economic, social, linguistic, and navigational integration. Qualitative findings also showed the details of the challenges that Afghans face within their community due to ethnic/regional divisions as well as the challenges women face in the community.
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