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Neue Publikation: Immigrants’ First Names and Perceived Discrimination: A Contribution to Understanding the Integration Paradox

Julia Tuppat and Jürgen Gerhards

News vom 23.09.2020

in: European Sociological Review | Link

Abstract
Many studies have shown that better-educated immigrants more frequently report perceived discrimination
in the host country than less-educated immigrants. Two different explanations for this
discrimination paradox, which is a subcase of the so-called integration paradox, are discussed in the
literature. First, with increasing integration, immigrants’ sensitivity to discrimination processes
changes. Second, more integrated immigrants are more exposed to discrimination as they have more
frequent contact with the majority society, and thus, more actual opportunities for perceived discrimination.
We argue that exposure is only effective if immigrants are recognizable as such. Besides other
characteristics, first names serve as an indicator of immigrant background. We use respondents’ first
name as an exogenous variation in exposure. By analyzing data from the German Socio-Economic
Panel (N¼32,043), we show that (i) immigrants with first names considered uncommon in the host
country report discrimination disproportionately frequently, (ii) the discrimination paradox is only evident
if a name as a marker indicating ethnicity exists, and (iii) there is no such interaction between first
name and education, if immigrants are recognizable by phenotypical markers.

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Soziologie - Euiropäische Gesellschaften