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Refugees: The Social Capital And Labour Market Integration

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Research has shown that the increasing population of refugees need urgent solutions for their integration in the host countries. Refugees are the forcibly and unwillingly displaced people, who are large in number worldwide. According to the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees report of 2017, approximately 68. 5 million individuals were forced and exiled from their home places. This figure shows an increase of 3. 1 million people compares to the previous year 2016. Besides this, the report also shows that the ratio of asylum seekers is increasing and in 2017 approximately 1. 94 million new applications have been registered. However, the problem is facing by most of the major countries in Europe and still, Italy is shown in the report, the third largest recipient of asylum claims by accepting 126. 5 thousand applications. In addition, due to the high flow of incoming refugees, Eurostat (2017) statistic show that in Europe 72. 6 percent of non-EU born people were unemployed. While in Italy 16. 2 percent of non-EU born individuals were unemployed. However, integration of these refugees in the host society is inevitable where they require core domains of integration, Employment, Housing, Education, Health, Social connections both with co-ethnic and cross-ethnic, language, safety and stability, rights and citizenship.

A significant number of studies have been considered employment a central feature for the integration of refugees. It should be not limited to the provision of financial benefits, but having a job means you are open or have an opportunity to improve your social and cultural skills whos acquisition is highly recommended for integration such as language, connections with native people, understanding the host society culture etc. Research has also suggested that upon the arrival of refugees, they already have some connections in the host country especially bonding which they extend after the arrival to the bridging connection or vertical connection which is found valuable for seeking employment.

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Though, there are several elements involved which affect success of the Tahir Junaid 10/10/2018 integration of refugees in the host society like language, education, health etc. but the absence of social capital has a major impact on the access of jobs and job search information. Because through these connection and social networks very useful information of availability of jobs diffusing from working labour to unemployed refugees.

Furthermore, Lamba and Krahn (2003) argue that formal and informal connection within the family and extra-familial both are valuable for refugees and they use an extra-familial social capital when the meet to unemployment and health problems. So social capital is one of the most effective and crucial element for the integration of refugees because their situation is different from the native or normal citizens. Understanding concepts/ Variables: Social capital and types: The prominence of social capital has been increasing among social researchers since the end quarter of a 20th century it attracts the attention of prominent sociologists.

The use of the concept can be found in the writing of founding fathers of sociology such as Solidarity of Durkheim. Similarly, Tonnies’ idea of historical shift from Gemeinschaft (community) to Gesellschaft (modern society) is not that much different from the Granovetter (1973) and Putnam (2000) idea of bonding social capital, individuals with strong ties and co-ethnic relationship such family, and co-ethnic friends, and bridging social capital, those with Weak ties and don’t have co-ethnic relationship such cross-cultural relationship. However, Hanifan (1916) introduces the term social capital which he refers to the goodwill, fellowship, mutual sympathy, and social intercourse group of individuals and families who make a unit of people. The previous and classical writers had been used social capital on one-sided flow and had more focused on economic capital and industrialization which is highly criticized by the modern thinker and social capital theorists.

Nonetheless, the modern theory of capital is still controversial and disparities are still there among scholars that is social capital is social networks which produce resources direct and indirect based on trust, family and friends smaller group or family level analysis, social capital refers to the feature of social organization, community and region level analysis and a collection of benefit have its place in a network of individuals, extreme individual level analysis. However, according to Allen (2009), the most widely and accepted Tahir Junaid 10/10/2018 definition of social capital among researchers is “the ability of an individual who is a part of the social network to access various resources that reside within that social network”.

The previous studies have suggested two main types of social capital, Bonding and Bridging social capital. Bonding social capital refers to the close ties of an individual who are similar and co-ethnic groups such as family, friends from similar background and community and alike people. while bridging social capital denotes the cross-cultural connections, those who are linked in some important way, who are not from similar background and community or race but they think their tie is important in some way like, people for different background and ethnicity.

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