SOCIOECONOMIC AND CULTURAL INTEGRATION OF KOSOVAR IMMIGRANTS IN AUSTRIA
Over the last two decades, immigration rates have increased on a global level. They have also increased in Austria, where a considerable number of immigrants are of Kosovar origin. This paper investigates the degree of their socioeconomic and cultural integration into Austrian society. The main thesis of the research was that the systemic integration of Kosovar immigrants, including participation in the labor market, housing situation, is relatively high and will be better than their social integration, such as interactions with Austrians, inclusion in social activities and associations. Specific hypotheses were developed: (1) that system integration will be higher than social integration; (2) that people with the following characteristics: (2a) differences by gender, (2b) immigrants with higher education, (2c) family situation (married immigrants with children), (2d) immigrants with a strong attachment to the religion of their native country who mostly have conservative social attitudes, will have greater difficulty integrating into Austrian society, (2e) place of living - people living in larger cities, will be better integrated, and (3) immigrants from Kosovo will be quite satisfied with their life in Austria. Two sets of empirical data are used to test these hypotheses. One was a socio-demographic description of all Kosovars living in Austria using data from official statistics. The other source is our empirical study conducted in Austria during the period August-October 2018. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 150 Kosovar immigrants aged over 15 years. The findings confirm the aforementioned hypotheses. They also show that the immigrants from Kosovo are quite satisfied with their situation in Austria; surprisingly, as much as two-thirds seem to be fully integrated in systemic terms.
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