Hein de Haas

Migration Matters

How much does migration change receiving societies?

You may have heard that immigrants alter the fabric of receiving societies irreparably. It’s true that migration contributes to the make-up of a culture in more ways than one. But this does not translate into fundamental changes to the structure of society, says Hein de Haas, migration expert and Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. In this episode, Hein offers examples of how immigrants adapt to the norms of their new environment, and how political frameworks are not so easily swayed by the mere arrival of newcomers.

1. How much does migration change receiving societies?

  • Change on the face is evident, but change in the political or economic structures of society is unlikely
  • Latino presence in the United States
  • Migration is a game changer only when migrants have more power and resources than the neighbors
  • Imagining that labor migrants or refugees will constitute a changing power isn’t realistic
  • Migrants themselves change and adapt rapidly
  • Declining fertility rates
  • Migration can’t reverse the effects of aging societies