A government think tank has concluded that progress is being made to integrate immigrants into Danish society, but it finds the process is taking too long
While ethnic Danes and immigrants hold the same ground when it comes to questions of democracy and freedom of speech, the two groups are still worlds apart on issues such as homosexuality and gender equality, according to a government survey released Monday.
The survey, conducted by the Integration Ministry's Think Tank, found a number of positive signs that efforts to integrate immigrants had succeeded, including equal support between ethnic Danes and non-ethnic Danes for democratic principles. It also found that eight out of ten immigrants felt that accepting payment under the table or not paying taxes was wrong.
But when it came to culturally based questions, such as gender equality, the survey confirmed that the two groups had vastly different points of view.
When asked about their views of homosexuality, 76 percent of Danish men and 89 percent of Danish women said it was 'acceptable'. Amongst immigrant groups, 59 percent of Iranian men and 52 percent of Iranian women agreed. For Danish with a Turkish heritage, 8 percent of men and 10 percent of women said it was acceptable.
The responses varied only slightly for the children of immigrants, leading Erik Bonnerup, the leader of the Think Tank, to suggest that simply assuming that the group would integrate itself had been misguided. He said the figures revealed the need for a new approach.
'We need to speak more openly about whether there are some fundamental values and norms that prevent integration in the workplace,' Bonnerup told public service broadcaster DR.
Bonnerup said that even though there had been little difference in the responses of immigrants and the children of immigrants, there were still major differences between the two groups.
Children of immigrants tended to be more religious than their parents, but the report said that was often a reaction to Danish youth culture, which young non-ethnic Danes often felt was filled with parties, alcohol and sex.
Despite their differences from ethnic Danish youth, young first and second generation Danes said they rarely felt discriminated against because of their ethnicity. Their responses also showed that compared with the attitudes in their homelands, they had made a significant migration towards accepting Danish culture.
In all 4500 people participated in the survey. The results are similar to a report released by the British think tank the Policy Exchange earlier this year.
Source: Copenhagen Post (English)
See also: UK: Survey shows British Muslim youth are radicalizing