Denmark: Differences in trust lead to differences in integration

Denmark: Differences in trust lead to differences in integration

We have to break with the taboo that all immigrant are alike and therefore equally easy to integrate.   Namely, there's a big difference between the degree of trust immigrant groups have towards strangers, and this trust affects how much they integrate into society.

So goes the controversial statement from professor Christian Bjørnskov, who researches trust in the Business School at Aarhus University.

"It's of course politically incorrect to say, that we can differentiate between people.  The whole public system in Denmark is built on the thought that we are all equal and alike.  But the more mixed Danish society becomes, that we need to accept that the immigrant groups are different and therefore should also be treated differently.  Or we risk have to deal with some groups who never become integrated into Danish society and instead create a parallel society," says Christian Bjørnskov, who is also a member of the board of the liberal think-tank CEPOS.

Christian Bjørnskov bases his conclusions on Danish and international research into the level of trust different people have towards strangers.

The research sows that while Scandinavians are the most trustful in the wold, there's a high degree of mistrust towards strangers in some Arab countries - for example in Syria and Jordan - and in African countries like Somalia.  At the same time, the degree of trust one is born with, so to speak, doesn't change significantly if one moves to another country, says Christian Bjørnskov.

"Instead of branding whole immigrant groups, when we speak of integration problems, we should use this knowledge to address much more effectively that there are big differences between Danish immigrant."  He says that this will enable more effective efforts in the real problem areas.

Integration consultant Manu Sareen (R) agrees:

He says that the only problem is that it will be perceived as very controversial to say that there are differences between the groups and therefore should be differences in what they're offered, but he doesn't think people should be afraid as much as they are.

Source: Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)

No comments: