The concept of ‘integration’ plays an important role in policy and practice regarding the settlement of migrants, yet the term is used in a variety of ways. This article examines how practitioners who support the integration of refugees in Scotland construct ‘integration’ at the community level to justify or challenge particular policies and sets of social relations. Analysis shows that integration can be worked up in contexts involving (i) descriptions of ‘us’ and ‘them’ in relation to a single community, (ii) social inclusion of those in multiple communities, or (iii) group level intercultural contact. Each version of integration is bound up with different attributions of agency for advancing integration and attributions of blame for current problems. Instead of relying upon a concept that is so open to multiple uses, local organizations might usefully specify outcomes in terms of social actors and interactions.
- discourse analysis