Integration is a pivotal concept in migration studies. When migration researchers want to describe how immigrants find their way in the new country, the term they use is integration. Yet, is ‘integration’ the term we should use? Since its inception the concept has been debated, but currently the very assumptions that the concept of integration rests on are being questioned. The concept aims to be descriptive, but is in fact normative, so claim some of its critics. It would suggest that immigrants’ integration requires that they identify with the country of settlement, socialize with the majority population, preferably through intermarriage, and take over the norms and values of the majority population. The host population is thus the norm to which immigrants should aspire. In the lead essay of this commentary series Willem Schinkel gives voice to this critique and many others. Is it that bad? Yes, worse even, so claims discussant Adrian Favell while Leila Hadj Abdou and Fran Meissner believe we should no throw away the baby with the bathwater and put forward suggestions for critical post-integration research, and Rinus Penninx, and Lea Klarenbeek, critiquing the critique, explain why there is no reason to think that we should discard of the concept. We need integration.
Edited by Prof. Dr. Sawitri Saharso