Denmark: Immigrant attitude survey

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

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