Social integration

Social integration is a dynamic and structured process in which all members participate in dialogue to achieve and maintain peaceful social relations. Social integration does not mean forced assimilation.

Social integration is focused on the need to move toward a safe, stable and just society by mending conditions of social disintegration and social exclusion - social fragmentation, exclusion and polarization; and by expanding and strengthening conditions of social integration - towards peaceful social relations of coexistence, collaboration and cohesion.[1]


In many instances education is used as a mechanism for social promotion. Neither education nor work can be ensured without a form of law. In relation to tolerant and open societies, members of minority groups often use social integration to gain full access to the opportunities, rights and services available to the members of the mainstream of society with cultural institutions such as churches and civic organizations. Mass media content also performs a social integration function in mass societies.

The 2005 documentary ”Utan gränser – en film om idrott och integration” (Without Borders - A Film About Sports and Integration) was a film described by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet as "a documentary on how to succeed with integration" of migrants into Swedish society.[2]

The term "social integration" first came into use in the work of French sociologist Émile Durkheim. He wanted to understand why rates of suicide were higher in some social classes than others. Durkheim believed that society exerted a powerful force on individuals. He concluded that a people's beliefs, values, and norms make up a collective consciousness, a shared way of understanding each other and the world.


In the emerging world of social networking applications on the internet, social integration is a term that can be considered when members are being transparent in all of their various work, personal, faith and local community interactions.

A 2012 research review found that working-class students were less socially integrated than middle-class students at university.[3][4]

Recent research also shows that immigrants should be independent and proactive in order to achieve better social integration in their host countries.[5] For further information, see here.[6][7]

From a demographic and cultural standpoint, recent longitudinal studies suggest that social isolation or integration has shown to increase in older Spanish individuals, especially those whom may be suffering from neurocognitive disorders such as dementia and overall cognitive decline.[8]

The United Nations has a Social Integration Branch, which is a part of the Division for Social Policy and Development (Department of Economic and Social Affairs). It also issues a quarterly publication named Bulletin on Social Integration Policies.[9] The UN Alliance of Civilizations[10] initiative works on Migration and Integration as a key for intercultural understanding. An Online Community on Migration and Integration[11] shows Good Practices from around the world.

See also


  1. "PeaceDialogue." UN News Center. UN, n.d. Web. 02 Jan. 2015.
  2. Nilsson, Christoffer; Melin, Eric (15 April 2016). "Swedish terror suspect was in movie about successful integration - Terrormisstänkt svensk var med i film om lyckad integration". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 April 2016. As an eleven-year-old Osama Krayem participated in a documentary on how to succeed with integration.
  3. Rubin, M. (2012). Social class differences in social integration among students in higher education: A meta-analysis and recommendations for future research. Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, 5, 22-38.
  4. Working-Class Students are Left Out at University Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research, retrieved 29 March 2013
  5. Rubin, M.; Watt, S. E.; Ramelli, M. (2012). "Immigrants' social integration as a function of approach-avoidance orientation and problem-solving style". International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 36: 498–505. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.12.009.
  6. "Immigrants Should Be Independent and Proactive to Achieve Better Social Integration - Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research".
  7. Sami,N.,Habib, S.E.
  8. Zunzunegui, et, al. "Social Networks, Social Integration, and Social Engagement Determine Cognitive Decline in Community-dwelling Spanish Older Adults" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-21.
  9. "UNDESA - Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD)". Retrieved 2014-06-27.
  10. "Migration & Integration | Building Inclusive Societies". 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2014-06-27.
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