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Abstract

This paper aims at clarifying the applicability of the theory of micro-macro links to the general concept of “integration” and illustrates two distinct methods of measuring the concept at individual and community levels. In particular, two indexes are developed, the first one called welcome-ability index, to measure the capacities of communities to welcome and integrate newcomers, and the second called integration index, to measure economic, social, and political integration of individuals. The first, a community-level measure, takes into account opportunities and facilities, including employment opportunities, facilities for health care and positive attitudes towards immigrants. The second, an individual-level measure, takes into account the multi-dimensionality of integration, specifically, economic inclusion and parity, social recognition and belonging, political involvement that insures the legitimacy of institutions, and civic participation. The latter could be considered an outcome of the processes measured by the former. The welcome-ability index is illustrated with data gathered for a project that collated baseline information on Ontario communities served by local partnerships specifically tasked with enhancing the capacities of communities to welcome newcomers. These data were gathered from the 2006 Canadian Census, 2008 Canadian Community Health Survey, Ontario 211 (a service provider database), and City Plans and Policies. The integration index is developed with data from the 2008 Canadian General Social Survey on Social Networks. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research directions by extending the theory of macro-micro links involved in studies of integration.