Hi! I’m Frank van Tubergen, full Professor of Sociology at Utrecht University and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI).
I study the integration of immigrants and their children in western countries. I’m passionate about this topic, for two reasons.
First, because of societal relevance: when you ask people what they worry most about in their society, many say things like “immigration”, “refugee crisis” and “polarization”. But public discussions and policies of immigration can sometimes become ideological and biased. Scholars like me have an important role to play, namely to provide the general public and policy makers with the scientific facts about immigration and integration. What’s really happening? Why? And which policies are effective?
The second reason is scientific curiosity. The topic of immigration and integration is incredibly complicated and raises many intriguing scientific questions. For example: how do ethnic group boundaries emerge? What are the conditions that promote and hamper acquiring a second language? What happens to immigrant children who are born in a secular country like the Netherlands, but whose parents were raised very religiously?