Historical Social Research

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Paul Puschmann, Nina Van den Driessche, Per-Olof Grönberg, Bart Van de Putte & Koen Matthijs: From Outsiders to Insiders? Partner Choice and Marriage among Internal Migrants in Antwerp, Rotterdam & Stockholm, 1850-1930 [Abstract]

Processes of social inclusion and exclusion among internal migrants in Antwerp, Rotterdam and Stockholm in the period 1850-1930 are studied with the help of data on partner choice and marriage of migrants who moved to these cities as singles. In practice, four outcomes related to meeting and mating are linked in our conceptual model to four acculturation trajectories, which form together a sliding scale in terms of social in- and exclusion. The models were tested by means of logistic regression. The results show that in all three cities social exclusion was a widespread phenomenon, and that only a small minority of the migrants became fully incorporated into urban mainstream society. Social exclusion was highly related to cultural differences between migrants and natives. Economic capital did not reduce the migrants’ risk of facing marginalization, but it did facilitate the crossing of group boundaries for a specific group of migrants who were able to escape marginalization. The fact that social inclusion took place on a larger scale in Antwerp and Rotterdam compared to Stockholm suggests that large port cities facilitated the incorporation of migrants more than industrial cities.

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