Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

The role of language proficiency and accent in ethnic minorities' youth transitions

AMCIS Seminar

11May2017 13:00 - 14:00


Sociological research on the role of language proficiency in immigrant integration has been flourishing in recent decades. The role of accent has been so far rather neglected. Irene Kogan (University of Mannheim) aims at bridging this gap presenting unique evidence about the importance of accent in host-country language for integration prospects of young people with migration background in Germany.

The importance of (foreign) accents

Irene Kogan will first explore what determines foreign accents, analyzing factors that affect the strength of foreign accents among immigrant youths, such as socio-economic background, age at migration, or family environment, as well as tackle possible associations between having a pronounced accent and daily language use.

In the second step, Kogan will explore whether having an accent impedes successful youth transitions, such as attainment of higher levels of education, smooth entry into apprenticeship or other forms of vocational training, as well as friendship and partnership formation. In the presentation, Kogan will draw comparisons between the importance of accent and other aspects of language proficiency, such as richness of vocabulary, for successful integration within the German society. 

About Irene Kogan

Irena Kogan holds a chair in comparative sociology at the University of Mannheim. Since 2009, she has been a Board member and since 2013 a Secretary-Treasurer of the European Consortium for Social Research (ECSR). Irena Kogan is a Member of the European Academy of Sociology, an associate editor of the European Sociological Review and a board member of the Transition in Youth Network. Her main interests are in the areas of social inequality, migration sociology and life-course research. In particular, her research focuses on structural and cultural aspects of immigrant integration, transition from school-to-work, as well as the role of human capital. social and cultural resources in these processes. Interest in the role of countries’ institutional characteristics in explaining societal processes drives her research, which is largely internationally comparative.

Location: REC-C2.03, lunch provided

  • Roeterseilandcampus - gebouw B/C/D (ingang B/C)

    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 | 1018 WV Amsterdam
    Receptie B: 525 5340 Receptie C: 525 5470

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