Facing migration and integration many Europeans feel confronted with exceptional challenges today. However, historical migration research shows that these processes have always been central elements of European social and cultural history, and it also reveals that many ‘native’ insiders who today feel anxious about assimilation or even integration of immigrants are themselves the descendants of foreign outsiders. Apart from some well-known exceptions – e.g. the Huguenots – little is known about the multitude and diversity of groups who have moved across political, social, and cultural borders in modern European history. It is the purpose of the Encyclopedia to illuminate the broad spectrum of these migrations by presenting selected examples. Special significance is attached to permanent immigrations within Europe and from outside regions into Europe. Of particular interest are the resulting intergenerational processes of assimilation lasting for at least two generations. They include many forms of social and cultural composition as well as decomposition, ranging from the gradual disappearance and dissolution of group identities in assimilation processes to minority formations and diaspora situations.
This article is in German / Dieser Artikel ist auf Deutsch.