Immigrants, Natives and the Occupational Career: Do Social Contacts Matter?


How important are social contacts for the occupational career of immigrants? This proposal addresses three important controversies in the literature.

First, does the ethnicity of social contacts play a role? Some authors maintain that immigrants profit from contacts with co-ethnics (?bonding social capital?), others suggest that only contacts with natives would be beneficial (?bridging social capital?). Second, does the setting in which contacts occur play a role? Some maintain that contacts in the private sphere are helpful, others argue that contacts in other settings ?such as at work? are more important. Third, do social contacts have a causal effect on employment? Some researcher think so, others maintain that the relationship is spurious or in the opposite direction (i.e., reverse causality).

This proposal aims to improve our understanding of these three controversies, by: (1) studying the role of intra-ethnic and interethnic contacts across multiple groups, and comparing their importance for both immigrants and natives; (2) developing a multiple setting approach, which simultaneously studies the influence of social contacts at school, at work, in the neighborhood, in voluntary organizations, and in the private sphere; (3) addressing the causality issue by re-thinking theoretical mechanisms, studying the non-random acquisition of contacts, and by using longitudinal data. These innovations lead to new questions, theoretical developments, and better tests of hypotheses.

The project makes use of a unique, recently initiated longitudinal survey among the Dutch population: NELLS (Netherlands Longitudinal Survey). The attractive features of NELLS for the proposed project are threefold: (1) it is a panel survey, with repeated measures among the same individuals, (2) it consists of interviews among both natives (n = 2500) and first and second generation immigrants from Turkey and Morocco (n = 2500), and (3) it contains extensive, detailed information on concepts that are key to the proposed research.



  • Beoogd: proefschrift
  • S. Smith(2015): Ethnic Segregation in Friendship Networks  29 juni 2015

Wetenschappelijk artikel

  • T. de Vroome, F van Tubergen(2010): The Employment Experience of Refugees in the Netherlands. International Migration Review pp. 376 - 403
  • F. Smits, S. Ruiter, F van Tubergen(2010): Religious Practices Among Islamic Immigrants: Moroccan and Turkish Men in Belgium Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion pp. 247 - 263
  • F van Tubergen, A-R Poortman(2010): Adolescent Alcohol Use in the Netherlands: The Role of Ethnicity, Ethnic Intermarriage, and Ethnic School Composition. Ethnicity Health pp. 1 - 13
  • M. Kalmijn, F van Tubergen(2010): "A Comparative Perspective on Intermarriage: Explaining Differences in Marriage Choices among National Origin Groups in the United States. Demography pp. 459 - 479
  • F van Tubergen(2010): Determinants of Second Language Proficiency among Refugees in the Netherlands Social Forces pp. 515 - 534
  • F van Tubergen(2011): Job Search Methods of Refugees in the Netherlands: Determinants and Consequences. Journal of Immigrant and Refugees Studies pp. 179 - 195
  • A. Kanas, F van Tubergen, T. van der Lippe(2011): The Role of Social Contacts in the Employment Status of Immigrants: A Panel Study of Immigrants in Germany. International Sociology pp. 95 - 122
  • F van Tubergen, J.I. Sindradóttir(2011): The Religiosity of Immigrants in Europe: A Cross-National Study. Journal of the Scientific Study of the Religion pp. 272 - 288
  • F van Tubergen, M. Wierenga(2011): "Language Acquisition of Male Immigrants in a Multilingual Destination: Turks and Moroccans in Belgium." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies pp. 1039 - 1057
  • B. Martinovic, F van Tubergen, I. Maas(2011): Acquisition of Cross-Ethnic Friends by Recent Immigrants in Canada: A Longitudinal Approach. International Migration Review pp. 460 - 488
  • T. de Vroome, M. Coenders, F van Tubergen, M. Verkuyten(2011): Economic Participation and National Self-Identification of Refugees in the Netherlands International Migration Review pp. 615 - 638
  • F van Tubergen, M. Wierenga(2011): "Language Acquisition of Male Immigrants in a Multilingual Destination: Turks and Moroccans in Belgium." Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies pp. 1039 - 1057
  • L. Blommaert, F van Tubergen, M. Coenders(2012): Implicit and Explicit Interethnic Attitudes and Ethnic Discrimination in Hiring. Social Science Research pp. 61 - 73
  • A. Kanas, B. Chiswick, T. van der Lippe, F van Tubergen(2012): Social Contacts and the Economic Performance of Immigrants: A Panel Study of Immigrants in Germany. International Migration Review pp. 680 - 709
  • S. Smith, I. Maas, F van Tubergen(2012): Irreconcilable differences? Ethnic Intermarriage and Divorce in the Netherlands Social Science Research pp. 1126 - 1137
  • V. Seibel, F van Tubergen(2013): Job Search Methods among Non-Western Immigrants in the Netherlands. Journal of Immigrant and Refugees Studies pp. 241 - 258
  • T. Immerzeel, F van Tubergen(2013): Religion as Reassurance? Testing the Insecurity Theory in 26 European Countries. European Sociological Review pp. 359 - 372
  • S. Geven, J. Weesie, F van Tubergen(2013): The influence of friends on adolescents? behavior problems at school: the role of ego, alter and dyadic characteristics Social Network pp. 583 - 592
  • F van Tubergen(2013): Religious Change of New Immigrants in the Netherlands: The Event of Migration. Social Science Research pp. 715 - 725
  • P. Schimmer, F van Tubergen(2014): Transnationalism and Ethnic Identification among Adolescent Children of Immigrants in the Netherlands, Germany, England, and Sweden?. International Migration Review pp. 680 - 709
  • F van Tubergen(2014): Size and Socio-Economic Resources of Core Discussion Networks in the Netherlands: Differences by National Origin Group and Immigrant Generation Ethnic and Racial Studies pp. 1020 - 1042
  • C. Sporlein, F van Tubergen(2014): "The Occupational Status of Immigrants in Western and non-Western Societies." International Journal of Comnperative Sociology pp. 119 - 143
  • T. de Vroome, F van Tubergen(2014): “Settlement Intentions of Recently Arrived Immigrants and Refugees in the Netherlands.” Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies pp. 47 - 66
  • J. van der Pol, F van Tubergen(2014): Inheritance of religiosity among Muslim immigrants in a secular society. Review of Religious Research pp. 87 - 106
  • L. Blommaert, M. Coenders, F van Tubergen(2014): Ethnic Discrimination in Recruitment and Decision Makers' Features: Evidence from Laboratory Experiment and Survey Data using a Student Sample. Social Indicators pp. 731 - 754
  • L. Blommaert, M. Coenders, F van Tubergen(2014): Discrimination of Arabic-named applicants in the Netherlands: An internet-based field experiment examining different phases in online recruitment procedures. Social Forces pp. 957 - 82
  • A. Kanas, F van Tubergen(2014): The Conditional Returns to Origin-Country Human Capital among Turkish and Moroccan Immigrants in Belgium. Social Science Research pp. 130 - 141
  • S. Smith, I. Maas, F van Tubergen(2014): Ethnic ingroup friendships in schools: testing the by-product hypothesis in England, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Social Network pp. 33 - 45
  • F van Tubergen, T. Mentjox(2014): Minority Language Proficiency of Adolescent Immigrant Children in Four European Countries. Kolner Zeitschrift fur Soziologie und Sozial Psychologie (Suppl) pp. 241 - 262
  • S. de Hoon, F van Tubergen(2014): The Religiosity of Children of Immigrants and Natives in England, Germany and the Netherlands: The Role of Parents and Peers in Class". European Sociological Review pp. 194 - 206
  • C. Sporlein, E. Schluter, F van Tubergen(2014): Immigrant Intermarriage in Longitudinal Perspective: Testing Structural and Cultural Explanations in the United States from 1880 to 2011. Social Science Research pp. 1 - 15
  • F van Tubergen, B. Volker(2015): Inequality in Access to Social Capital in the Netherlands?. Sociology pp. 521 - 538
  • F van Tubergen(2015): Ethnic Boundaries in Core Discussion Networks: A Multilevel Social Network Study of Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands. Journal of Etnic and Migration Studies pp. 101 - 116
  • V. Edmonds, F van Tubergen(2015): Mixed Parents, Mixed Results: Testing the Effects of Cross-Nativity Partnership on Children?s Educational Attainment. Sociological Perspectives pp. 145 - 167
  • B. Martinovic, F van Tubergen, I. Maas(2015): A Longitudinal Study of Interethnic Contacts in Germany: Estimates from a Multilevel Growth Curve Model. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies pp. 83 - 100





Prof. dr. F.A. van Tubergen

Verbonden aan

Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Departement Maatschappijwetenschappen


Mw. S.A.J. Geven, Dr. S. Smith, Prof. dr. F.A. van Tubergen


01/06/2010 tot 07/10/2015