The immigrant enclave is a place where a significant portion of the immigrant work force works in enterprises owned by co-ethnics. The term is often substituted with ‘ethnic’ enclave. The formation of enclaves is due to the tendency of recent immigrants to concentrate spatially and to create economic spaces which are geographically and functionally separated from the rest of the economy. Such tendency have been observed since the very birth of contemporary migration and may be due to a variety of reasons. Migrants may concentrate in specific places because they are socially/spatially excluded from other places due to a discriminatory housing market and as a form of residential segregation. On the other hand, migrants may concentrate because they benefit from proximity with members of the same community. New migrants, it has been argued, tend to rely upon socioeconomic networks bounded by co-ethnicity and upon a variety of ‘ethnic resources’ such as interpersonal relationships, human capital externalities, community-based associations that facilitate access to credit, information and labor, lower business risk while fostering intra-community solidarity. Enclaves may therefore be interpreted as enclosures and ‘ghetto economies’ that prevent the assimilation of immigrants or, on the contrary, as places where social capital and solidarity are facilitated leading to better economic performances. Such controversy that, as we shall see, is far from being solved, has provoked a lively debate. The extent to which enclaves may be regarded as traps or, on the contrary, as opportunities indeed has relevant policy implications. Moreover, immigrant enclaves recall widely discussed phenomena – how place, culture and social capital influence economic outcomes – and have proven to be an optimal point of view for testing some of the most salient contemporary theories in economic sociology and related disciplines.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appartiene alla tipologia:||02a Capitolo o Articolo|