The British are not well integrated in Spain. But they can help us understand how difficult a goal integration can be. Despite opinions to the contrary, most British do want to mix with Spanish and do want to learn the language, but they find this very difficult when they do not work or socialize together. And integration is not helped by the fact many in the host community think of them as little more than a tourist that stayed on (a residential tourist). We also come to understand what a contested term ‘integration’ is, and how it makes assumptions about who will make what amount of effort.
Perhaps surprisingly, British migration to Spain can teach us how easily a migrant group can end up marginalized and socially excluded – even a group so apparently elite or affluent (compared with other migrants) as British ‘expatriates’.
O’Reilly, K. 2009. ‘Intra-European migration and social cohesion: The extent and nature of integration of British migrants in Spain’ (In Spanish) In T. Mazón, R. Huete, and A. Mantecón. Turismo, urbanisación y estilos de vida, Barcelona: Icaria
Huber, A. and O’Reilly, K. 2004 ‘The construction of Heimat under conditions of individualised modernity: Swiss and British elderly migrants in Spain’, Ageing and Society. 24(3) 327-352