Social networks, social capital and refugee integration

With over 300,000 refugees living in the UK and more arriving each year much attention has focused upon refugee integration policy and practice. Whilst there is no agreement about what constitutes integration certain trends can be identified. These include the importance of access to employment and public services, and the development of social connections and the ability to speak English. It is recognised that integration is multi-dimensional and while not a
linear process, does occur over time. Yet little research has focused upon how different factors combine to influence the refugee integration experience. Ager and Strang’s (2004; 2008) integration framework was developed in a bid to bring the multiple dimensions together in an analytical framework. We utilise this framework looking in detail at the role of social capital in relation to the indicators identified by Ager and Strang.

Our aim was to increase understanding about the role of social capital in refugee integration.
Our objectives are to:
• Investigate the role of different types of capital in refugee integration
• Isolate social capital from other kinds of capital
• Explore interrelationships with different integration indicators
• To inform integration policy and practice