Through attachment to settlement: social and psychological determinants of migrants’ intentions to stay
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1554429
Previous research shows that structural, cultural and social integration determine migrants’ settlement intentions. We move beyond such explanations, and consider whether psychological integration at a local level may underlie the relation between social integration and the intention to stay, while accounting for structural and cultural integration. We conceptualise social integration as ties with the natives, and access to emotional and instrumental social capital in the destination country. Psychological integration is captured by place attachment understood as an emotional bond with the city of residence. We take the case of Ukrainian migrants, currently the largest group of temporary migrants in Europe. Using survey data from Warsaw, Poland, we found that migrants having strong ties with Poles were more strongly attached to Warsaw, which in turn increased their willingness to stay in Poland. Emotional social capital but not instrumental social capital had an indirect effect on settlement intentions via place attachment, but only for repeat migrants. These findings held independent of the level of structural and cultural integration and length of time spent in Poland. The study points to the importance of psychological integration at a local level and the migrants’ emotional support, in shaping settlement intentions of temporary migrants.
Social integration, place attachment, settlement intentions, Ukrainian migrants, Poland