Online Program

Immigration policies, integration and social capital: An international comparison

Monday, November 4, 2013

Alberto J.F. Cardelle, PhD, MPH, College of the Health Sciences, East Stroudsburg University, East Stroudsburg, PA
This last decade has been in part defined by the issue of immigration worldwide. Immigrants have been disproportionately affected by poor health outcomes and both cultural and political barriers have made them a challenging group with whom to address disparities. Therefore, strategies that facilitate the integration of immigrants and strengthen their social capital are a salient area of public policy for public health practitioners. This paper contributes to the understanding of how to broaden the scope of work with immigrant communities by using an international comparison to determine the potential positive impact of social capital on public health outcomes. The study integrates a social capital theory along with an social network analysis and a policy analysis framework to identify policies that facilitate the integration process of immigrants and therefore their social capital and health status. The study was carried out in two sites one in the U.S. and one in Spain, two countries undergoing similar trends with regard to immigration. This study builds upon the literature on integration and social capital and develops a different avenue of investigation. The results show that as compared to immigrants in Pennsylvania, immigrants in Galicia, Spain across various subgroups—show stronger indicators of social capital; demonstrated through greater participation in groups; rely on stronger informal social networks and a have a greater sense of closeness to community. Most importantly the study shows that the results tend to be policy based, namely clear national level immigrant integration policies& strategies that actively engages civil society groups.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the immigration integration policies and strategies used in two similar regions one in Spain and the United States. Understand the application of social network analysis in the measuring civil society groups networking. Assess the relevance of successful international policies and social strategies aimed at social integration.

Keyword(s): Immigrants, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple international research grants focusing on civil society and health policie. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for improving latino health in the United States.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.