(In)visible generations: from integration to equality

02 / 2019
Maryna Manchenko

Despite growing criticism on extending the category ‘immigrant’ to children of immigrants, research in the field of migration studies generally distinguishes between different generations within the population of migrant descent. Those who migrated as adults are called ‘the first generation’, while children of immigrants who were born in the host country are labelled ‘the second generation’ and children of immigrants who migrated before or during their teens comprise ‘generation 1.5’. Even though these later generations are socialised in the host country, they are often still viewed as in need of integration and targeted by integration policies. In this policy brief, we discuss the particularities of ‘generations 1.5 and 2.0’ throughout Europe and join others in arguing that policymakers and scholars need to move beyond the integration paradigm towards a paradigm of equality. We suggest that an equality paradigm needs to take into account the specific inequalities that children of immigrants might face, but, at the same time, needs to be critical of the homogenising group designations that are assigned to them.