Exploring Potential Impacts of Using Different Operational Definitions of Migrants in Quantitative Research

By Stefania Kalogeraki.

Published by The International Journal of Community Diversity

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: September 5, 2014 $US5.00

In quantitative social research, the operational definition of migrant is of critical importance. The foreign birth and foreign citizenship criteria most commonly applied to operationalise migrants in research are neither interchangeable nor mutually exclusive. Moreover, both operational definitions are interconnected with each host country’s citizenship policies. Hence, different migrant operationalisation might affect the conclusions drawn in cross-sectional and cross-national research. The study uses data from the European Social Survey to explore the potential differentiated impacts of the foreign birth and foreign citizenship criteria on evaluating the relations among migrants residing in two countries with different naturalisation policies, i.e. Greece and Sweden. The results of the analysis conclude that researchers need to be aware of the potential impacts of using different operational definitions of migrants on their research outcomes in order to determine the legitimacy of their findings, which will inform public understanding and policy initiatives.

Keywords: Migration, Foreign Birth, Foreign Citizenship

The International Journal of Community Diversity, Volume 13, Issue 2, September 2014, pp.33-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: September 5, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 232.094KB)).

Dr. Stefania Kalogeraki

Lecturer in Quantitative Methods in Sociology, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Crete, Rethymno, Crete, Greece