Integration Department

The Integration Department of the DeZIM Institute conducts research into the diverse processes and dynamics of social integration. For the Department, “integration” encompasses both participation by everyone in Germany in key areas of social life – such as child-raising, education, training, the labour market, law, politics, media and culture – and the transformation process affecting society as a whole.

Integration means participation by everyone in key areas of social life, and at the same time the transformation of society.
Prof. Dr. Magdalena Nowicka, Head of the Integration Department

Main research areas

“Integration” cannot be regarded either theoretically or empirically as unilateral adjustment by immigrants, but can only be understood and analysed in relation to, and in complex social interactions with, the population as a whole. To research this process, the Department directs its attention in particular towards individuals as active subjects and considers, for example, the question of how they structure their life after they arrive in Germany:  

  • How do migrants and their descendants born in Germany acquire access to tangible and intangible resources? 
  • How do immigrants and their descendants negotiate their positions in society, and how do they realise their aspirations? 
  • How is this dependent on political framework conditions, life stages and gender? 
  • What resources do they obtain through their networks across national borders? 
  • How do institutional actors observe, describe and control these integration processes? 


The Integration department applies quantitative and qualitative methods and combines them where necessary. The projects use both secondary data analyses and the department's own surveys, for example

  • group-specific surveys,
  • surveys and field experiments,
  • narrative interviews,
  • ethnographic, participatory, and visual methods, as well as  
  • expert interviews.

Department projects

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Number of projects: 38

Department employees

Number of employees: 35