Publication Types:

Children of immigrants and the second generation

Book Chapter
Azzolini, Davide; Schnell, Philipp
In: Cvajner, Martina; Kivisto, Peter; Sciortino, Giuseppe (Eds.): Research Handbook on the Sociology of Migration. Edwar Elgar. 192-204
Publication year: 2024

This chapter illustrates the concepts of “children of immigrants” and “second generation” as they have been conceived and are employed in the sociology of migration. We begin by providing a short overview of the main theoretical perspectives on the integration processes of children of immigrants, including hypothesis on ‘straight-line’ assimilation,  ‘segmented’ assimilation and the European centered ‘comparative integration context theory’. Next, we offer a comprehensive description of the different operationalizations and empirical definitions of the second generation used in the literature. Finally, we leverage existing evidence coming from selected empirical studies to show how these definitions affect the examined integration outcomes of children of immigrants. The chapter concludes with a summary and an outlook on future research. 

Studying New Social Mobility: Data, Methods and Comparisons

Book Chapter
Schneider, Jens; Schnell, Philipp; Eve, Michael
In: Schneider, Jens; Crul, Maurice; Pott, Andreas (Eds.): New Social Mobility: Second Generation Pioneers in Europe. Springer IMISCOE Series.
Publication year: 2022

The chapter describes the overall aims of the Pathways to Success and ELITES projects and the methods used by the various national research teams to investigate these common aims. It explains the relationship of the Pathways and ELITES projects to the earlier comparison of the second generation conducted by the TIES project, as well as the decision to focus on children of migrants who had achieved steep social mobility compared to their parents. To give readers a clear conception of the type of problems which the Pathways and ELITES projects started off from, the first part of the chapter gives some data from the TIES study: comparative data on the educational and occupational trajectories of children of migrants from Turkey in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden. These show that, even though the socio-economic backgrounds and migration histories of the first generation in the four nations were similar, the educational and the occupational stories of their children were widely different, both in the percentages of the second generation which attained ‘success’, and in the specific ‘pathways’ used (e.g. through the education system or in the labour market). The chapter then continues with an explanation of the methods used in the Pathways and ELITES studies to investigate the social mechanisms underlying these kinds of differences, found in diverse national – but also occupational – ‘integration contexts’. The sampling criteria used for the qualitative interviewees are described, and basic data is provided on who was interviewed by the various research teams. Without overlapping with methodological information given in individual chapters, the topics covered by all the teams’ interviews are listed. The final part of the chapter touches on some of the problems involved in making qualitative comparative of ‘integration contexts’ (whether taking nations, cities or occupations as the units of comparison).

Immigration and social inequality. Explaining differences in educational trajectories for ethnic minority youths in Austria

Book Chapter
Schnell, Philipp; Gruber, Oliver
In: Demers, Matthieu (Ed.). Immigrant Children: Perspectives, Challenges and Educational Implication. New York: IN PRESS
Publication year: 2020

This chapter examines the academic achievements and educational trajectories of the children of immigrants in Austria. During the Cold War era, Austria’s immigration patterns were shaped by refugee movements and guest worker migration. Since the millennium, EU-internal migration has become the largest source of immigration. As a result, the immigrant population numbers in Austria have risen to 17%, with an increasing number of immigrant children entering Austrian schools today. The educational opportunities available to the children of immigrants as well as their school performance are often regarded as the ‘litmus test’ not just for integration, but for the success or failure of policies in this field. In particular, the experiences of second-generation pupils may provide a clearer indication of the long-term prospects for integration than those of first-generation immigrants.

To shed light on this connection, this chapter provides an empirical study using data from the Austrian standardized national survey in education (Bildungsstandardüberprüfung BIST 2012/2013). This complete survey contains information on standardized test scores in Mathematics and English (grade 8), as well as relevant background details on educational trajectories from pre-school to secondary education. Moreover, the survey allows for a comprehensive analysis of academic achievements and educational trajectories of the children of immigrants from 18 different ethnic origin groups.

Our findings reveal large educational achievement gaps between children of immigrants and native-born children. However, the size of these educational achievement gaps varies substantially along ethnic lines. The drawbacks faced by most descendants of immigrants in Austria are due to fewer educational, economic and material resources being available to them. This supports findings from many European countries that are traditionally commonly sources of immigrants to Austria, where a lack of educational resources in the family explains large parts of the educational disadvantages of immigrant pupils. It also confirms the variety in outcomes across ethnic groups based on their heterogeneous socioeconomic status. In addition, our findings provide empirical evidence for the significant role of the school system in influencing pupils’ educational opportunities: tracking and early selection, as well as an allocation system favoring school segregation together contributing to the consolidation of (ethnic) educational disadvantages in Austria.

Based on the findings of our research, we draw practical inferences about the amelioration of existing inequalities affecting the impact of the current school system. They provide the basis for the chapter’s concluding recommendations.


Austria: Equity Research Between Family Background, Educational System and Language Policies

Book Chapter
Herzog-Punzenberger, Barbara; Schnell, Philipp
In: Stevens, Peter; Dworkin, Gary A. (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnic Inequalities in Education. 2nd Edition. Volume 1. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 105-158.
Publication year: 2019

The goal of this chapter is to describe how researchers in Austria have studied ethnicity and educational inequality between 1980 and 2016 as well as critically assess the reasons for specific research activities and the lack thereof. Even today, Austria still lacks a systematic overview of research in the field of ethnicity/race and educational inequality. We highlight  five distinct research traditions on ethnicity/race and educational inequality in Austria: the political arithmetic tradition, the Family background tradition, the structures of educational systems tradition, the intercultural education and discrimination tradition, and the multilinguality tradition. We concentrate on their major focuses, methods, findings and implications for debates within this  field of inquiry. We conclude by summarizing and critically assessing the research traditions explored and provide suggestions for future research on the relationship between race/ethnicity and educational inequality in Austria.

Network Embeddedness of Migrants: Exploring Variations Across three Neighbourhoods in Vienna

Book Chapter
Schnell, Philipp; Kohlbacher, Josef; Reeger, Ursula
In: Ryan, Luise; Erel, Umut; D`Angelo, Alessio (Eds.). Migrant Capital: Networks, Identities and Strategies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 188-206.
Publication year: 2015

This chapter analyses the local network embeddedness of migrants and their descendants in three different Viennese neighbourhoods and explores the impact it has on community cohesion. We argue that not only are individual characteristics key for the formation of migrants’ networks, but also neighbourhood conditions, as they provide opportunity structures for establishing both bridging and bonding ties and therefore significantly shape access to resources. The three neighbourhood case studies were selected for the diversity they represent in terms of locality, structural features, and their socio-economic and ethnic composition. Using data gathered as part of the 2010 GEITONIES survey we offer an exploration of if, why and how migrants access, develop and maintain different types of local networks in different social and spatial contexts.

Inclusive education for children of immigrants: The Turkish second generation in Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria

Book Chapter
Schnell, Philipp; Crul, Maurice
In: Szalai, Julia; Schiff, Claire (Eds.). Migrant, Roma and Post-Colonial Youth in Education across Europe: Being 'Visibly Different'. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 34-50.
Publication year: 2014

This study examines the factors that contribute to cross-national differences in educational attainment among second-generation Turks in Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden. Drawing on the international TIES survey we investigate empirically school trajectories and outcomes from descendants of Turkish immigrants in the three countries to identify the main driving forces behind social mobility. We pay particular attention to the interactions between the prevailing institutional arrangements in school and the role that family resources play in education to explain cross-national differences in outcomes. Our results show these crossnational differences can hardly be explained by differences in the parental generation of second-generation Turks. Instead, our empirical evidence highlights that the interaction between the institutional arrangements and family level factors determines the direction and the ultimate outcome of the educational process. Education systems which provide more favourable institutional arrangements render second-generation Turks less dependent on family factors and resources and ultimately lead to their higher educational attainment.


Book Chapter
Herzog-Punzenberger, Barbara; Schnell, Philipp
In: Stevens, Peter; Dworkin, Gary A. (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Race and Ethnic Inequalities in Education. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 121-167.
Publication year: 2014

The educational mobility of second-generation Turks in cross-national perspective: empirical findings, explanations and policy lessons

Book Chapter
Schnell, Philipp
In: van Helsum, Anja; Garcés-Mascareñas, Blanca (Eds.). Migration and Integration Research. Filling in Penninx`s Heuristic Model. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 76-88.
Publication year: 2013

School Careers of Second-Generation Youth in Europe: Which Education Systems Provide the Best Chances for Success?

Book Chapter
Crul, Maurice; Schnell, Philipp; et al.
In: Crul, Maurice; Schneider, Jens; Lelie, Frans (Eds.). The European Second Generation Compared: Does the Integration Context Matter? Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 101-164.
Publication year: 2012

Success against all odds

Book Chapter
Crul, Maurice; Zhou, Min; Lee, Jennifer; Schnell, Philipp; Keskiner, Elif
In: Crul, Maurice; Mollenkopf, John (Eds). The Changing Face of World Cities. Young Adult Children of Immigrants in Europe and the United States. New York: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 65-96.
Publication year: 2012