Research projects

Current projects

Immigrant Solidarity in Switzerland: Attitudes and Practices of Support to Others

Dir. : Marco Giugni

Collaborations : Eva Fernandez Guzman Grassi, Cristina El Khoury


The proposed research project focuses on immigrant solidarity, that is, immigrants’ attitudes and practices of support on the part of immigrants for the welfare and/or rights of others. Immigrant solidarity will be studied by taking into account aspects located at the micro-level (identifying and analysing the attitudes and practices associated with the diversity of forms of solidarity on the part of immigrants, considering how the impact of unequal immigrant trajectories can shape immigrant solidarity), meso-level (looking at the interplay between immigrants’ embeddedness within social networks and immigrant solidarity attitudes and practices, both cross-sectionally and over time), and macro-level (examining how the contextual setting of host societies favours or hinders immigrant solidarity). We addresses the following research questions: What are the forms of immigrants’ attitudes and practices of solidarity in Switzerland? What factors shapes such attitudes and practices? To what extent do immigrants' access and embeddedness in networks influence their solidarity practices and attitudes? How do subnational political contexts concerning immigrants' social and political inclusion interact with their attitudes and practices of solidarity? How does immigrants’ social embeddedness and subnational political contexts interact and shape immigrant solidarity? Two main working hypothesis guide the project. First, variation across subnational integration regimes influence immigrant solidarity, either directly or indirectly via their impact on immigrants' access to resources and networks. Secondly, the differences in attitudes and practices of solidarity among immigrants are most likely related to their life trajectories, according to their legal status and unequal access to human and social capitals, which shape their solidarity towards others. The proposed research relies on a mixed-methods approach combining a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods of data retrieval and analysis. Specifically, we will employ five distinct methodologies, each allowing us to capture different aspects of immigrant solidarity: a systematic review of the literature on immigrant solidarity; an analysis of public policies and practices towards the promotion of immigrants inclusion in the host society at the Cantonal level; an analysis of existing longitudinal surveys; survey experiments; and biographical interviews. The project will contribute to the literature on immigration and solidarity in a number of ways: by providing key insights to understand the immigrant category as multifaceted and subjected depending on individual life trajectories; by further developing the conceptualisation of structural inequalities and individual well-being as covariates of solidarity across vulnerable groups; by improving our understanding of immigrants' preferences for institutional and non-institutional forms of solidarity; by generating robust and methodologically sound datasets across diverse levels of analysis; and by enhancing the active use of extremely valuable research data produced by other researchers, favouring a prime venue to bring together Swiss immigration interdisciplinary scholarship.