Safe, accepted and charmed by the city. Why do migrants feel better in Berlin than in Amsterdam?
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies | pages: 1940-1956
The study captures how contextual factors have affected the experiences of skilled Polish migrants in two locations, Amsterdam and Berlin. Drawing from interviews with 60 Poles I demonstrate how perceived attitudes of natives towards migrants, cultural closeness or distance with a majority group and specific characteristics of the destination city can be key facilitators or obstacles in shaping migrants’ sense of belonging. I am pointing to a greater importance of socio-cultural than economic factors in the process of developing a sense of belonging. Nevertheless, these factors remain under the limited influence of migrants. The article demonstrates how migrants’ subjective belonging relates to their experience of integration and thus general level of comfort in a city.
Sense of belonging, integration, migrants, Amsterdam, Berlin