The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Integration Against All Odds? A Longitudinal Cohort Study of Ostjuden Children in Sweden, 1880–1920

This ongoing project at Uppsala university is founded by Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg foundation. The main purpose of the project is to analyze the integration of the children of all so called Ostjuden (Jews from the Russian Tsarist Empire) living in Sweden on December 31, 1880 into Swedish society. These children were born in or at least raised in Sweden, but belonged to an unpopular and stigmatized immigrant group, subject to prejudice and discrimination.

Assumptions about Jewish integration are often based on single examples or on aggregated statistics which are rather blunt instruments. However, by using the excellent Swedish source material and doing cohort investigations a number of different measurable variables can be obtained and a more differentiated analysis undertaken. This will give us a strong empirical precision.

The survey population, 700+ individuals, is followed in the national registration to adulthood and a number of measurable variables will be tabulated in a database. The empirical data will be linked to ten sub-studies and will try to answer questions about vertical and horizontal intergenerational socio-economic mobility; inclusion in the labor market and in the business sector; migration and settlement patterns in Sweden; further emigration to USA or other countries; marriage patterns; family name changes; political representation at the national and local level; representation in Jewish organizations; and conversions to chistianity.

Additionally, class and gender categories will be considered. Through regression and cluster analysis, the correlation between many of the variables obtained through the sub-studies can be established, providing important explanations for how the integration process took place and why. Although the sub-studies are mainly quantitative, some qualitative analysis will also be undertake.