A personal network approach to the study of immigrant structural assimilation and transnationalism

Raffaele Vacca*, Giacomo Solano, Miranda Jessica Lubbers, Jose Luis Molina, Christopher McCarty

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier B.V. This paper proposes a personal network approach to the study of structural assimilation and structural transnationalism among international immigrants. Structural assimilation and transnationalism are defined as embeddedness in native social networks of the host society, and in co-national social networks of the origin society, respectively. Data on the personal networks of international immigrants, each including 45 alters, are obtained from two surveys among Moroccan, Senegalese and Gambian immigrants in Spain (N = 139), and among Sri Lankan immigrants in Italy (N = 102). Measures on the size of different national and geographical classes of alters, and on the cohesion within and between these classes, are used to quantify the degree and type of structural assimilation and transnationalism. Linear regression models show that these measures are significantly associated with outcomes of cultural and economic assimilation of immigrants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-89
Number of pages18
JournalSocial networks
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Acculturation
  • Connectivity
  • Ego networks
  • Personal networks
  • Social capital
  • Transnationalism


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