Immigration, social cohesion and social capital: A critical review

Hope Pauline Cheong, Rosalind Edwards, Harry Goulbourne, John Solomos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

320 Scopus citations


In recent years, there has been an intense public and policy debate about ethnic diversity, community cohesion, and immigration in Britain and other societies worldwide. In addition, there has been a growing preoccupation with the possible dangers to social cohesion represented by growing immigration flows and ethnic diversity. This paper proposes a critical framework for assessing the links between immigration, social cohesion, and social capital. It argues that the concept of social capital is episodic, socially constructed and value-based, depending on the prevailing ideological climate. Considerations of social capital as a public policy tool to achieve social cohesion need to incorporate an appreciation of alternative conceptions of social capital rooted in a textured under-standing of immigrant processes and migration contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-49
Number of pages26
JournalCritical Social Policy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Community
  • Diversity
  • Ethnic relations
  • Migration
  • Solidarity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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