Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

‘Doing’ Integration: The discursive effects of practices promoting integration in everyday life

For Panel: Problematizing Integration Discourses


With a lack of a clear definition, though a normalized use, the discursive weight of the concept of integration is felt throughout policy and civic integration programmes. In wider societal discourse the term integration is used in a taken-for-granted way, with an assumed understanding of its meaning and the actions which one takes to display its attainment. Studies which aim to explore or measure integration, further reproduce these taken-for-granted realities, a fact which has contributed to the recent debates on the discursive power of ‘integration’ in migration studies. <br/><br/>While the debate on integration unfolds within the academic sphere, it’s implementation and discursive power continue in practices which take place in everyday life. Practices which construct the ‘doing’ of integration and which shape the lived experiences of those who encounter them. Practices which contribute to the reproduction of Othering and racialized categories which accompany the concept of integration and its current discursive frame. <br/><br/>This paper will thus explore how integration as a concept is shaped and promoted in practices, practices such as texts which migrants encounter in civic integration programmes as well as activities which are promoted during the integration pathway. This analysis allows us for an understanding of integration as it lives and is operationalized at the level of practice and enacted through daily activities one undertakes. This critical discourse analysis will shine light on how these practices contribute to strengthening of hierarchical divisions based on colonialist categories of modernity and Eurocentric depictions of a ‘successful’ everyday life. <br/><br/>

Reference Blankvoort, N. (2022). ‘Doing’ Integration: The discursive effects of practices promoting integration in everyday life: For Panel: Problematizing Integration Discourses. Abstract from 19th IMISCOE Annual Conference, OSLO.
Published by  Urban Vitality 1 January 2022