|Migrant Organizations: Membership and Belonging|
|The landscape of associational life is determined by factors that belong to two broad categories: social capital and opportunity structures. The landscapes of associations can also be considered as expressions of citizenship (membership) and belonging (both ascribed by host society as well as perceived by newcomers). We define membership as formal categories of citizenship, whereas belonging is claimed to relate to subjective categories of (ethnic) group formation and identification. Migrant associations (in whatever degree of formalization, and level of participation and abstinence) are a key arena in which negotiations and discourses about membership and belonging are played out, both internally and in negotiation with the host society over time and over generations.
The proposed paper argues that building an international database on migrant organizations could offer important new chances to study countries and migrant groups that differ in pre-migration socialization (colonial versus non colonial groups) and with respect to the openness of membership and belonging. This is particularly the case if the database is build around (gendered) dimensions of belonging: religious, economic (labour market), cultural (a.o. transnationalism), linguistic, and social (welfare, housing).