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Title: Social integration of migrants in a multicultural society: the case of Libyan community in the UK
Authors: Al-Naami, Naima
Advisors: Wilkin, P
Sharma, S
Keywords: multiculturalism;discrimination;associations;identity;qualitative
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: This study was designed to describe and analyse the nature of the integration processes of the Libyan community in the UK. It explores the experience of their integration in order to understand how Libyan migrants have come to live in Britain and their relationships with wider UK society. The study also explores the extent to which the experience of Libyan immigrants supports the idea that Britain is a multicultural society. Whilst studies have been conducted examining the issue of Arab migration in the UK and the difficulties which they face (integration, equity, rights, social marginalization and stigmatization) no study has been carried out on Libyan migrants in the UK, so this study is unique. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 38 participants of Libyan migrants living in the UK (aged 18-65). Using snowball sampling, individual interviews were conducted with 27 participants; with the leaders of six selected Libyan civil migrants associations; and in addition to this a focus group with five young Libyans was conducted in order to explore the ways in which Libyans are integrating into UK society. The participants are mixed with regard to terms of age and length of stay in the UK. 13 of the participants were born in Britain or raised in Britain from an early age, whereas the rest emigrated from Libya as adults. 17 of the respondents are male and 21 are female. All of the participants in this study have lived in Britain for a minimum of 12 years, and the longest time span is 41 years. A large proportion of Libyans in the UK have emigrated to the UK due to their desire to gain graduate qualifications to improve their future career opportunities, as well as to make the most of economic opportunities, particularly in skilled sectors. In addition, some come to the UK to for political reasons. The results highlighted most of the participants’ desire to integrate into the host community. To facilitate their integration, the first and second generations’ participants revealed that the transition to the UK has required a balance between their past and present lives, resulting in adapting a dual identity through the combining of their strong sense of cultural heritage with the determination to contribute to their society. This dual identity is even more pronounced among the younger generations of Libyans as most of them were born and /or grow up in the UK. The study suggests that questions remain about the success of multiculturalism in the UK. While some participants described positive experiences and how they were able to practice their culture, others expressed concern about resentment towards immigrants, in particular after the Brexit vote. In addition some of the interviewees described how migrants are expected to integrate into the host society but that more needs to be done by the government to promote a multicultural environment. Thus, from the experience of Libyan immigrants while the UK is a multicultural society and they appreciate the freedom to practice their culture and religion, more can be done to improve relations in the society.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the award of Doctor of Philosophy and was awarded by Brunel University London
Appears in Collections:Sociology
Dept of Social and Political Sciences Theses

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