Political integration of immigrant women : the role of voluntary organisations in social capital formation and political involvement
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In this thesis, I aim to make a review of existing literature on the subject of social capital, and relate it to voluntary immigrant organisations and political integration. Further, I choose a gender perspective, using the Tamil Women’s Organisation as a case. The research questions are: “how can voluntary organisations contribute to explain integration of ethnic minorities in Norway?” And: “what is the relationship between organisations, social capital and political participation among Tamil women in Norway?” My methodological approach is qualitative, using literature review and semi-structured interview methods. One interview was conducted with the Tamil Women`s Organisation. An interview guide was prepared in advance, see appendix, page 44. Further, I have attempted to make a theoretical overview of the concepts used, and a discussion of findings on social capital and political participation. The overall picture has been shaped by an ethnic minority perspective as well as a gender perspective. As the topic has proven to be a complex one, I have not attempted to draw strict conclusions from my findings. Rather, there appears to be a need for more research on these topics. I hope, however, that my contribution may provide with something new. Research has been conducted in other countries on immigrant organisations as providers of social capital and their effect on political participation. My task has been to create an overview of a somewhat undetected field of research in Norway, hoping that others will follow up on this in the future.
Master in International Social Welfare and Health Policy