- The organisational legitimacy of immigrant groups: Turks and Moroccans in Amsterdam
- Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
- Volume | Issue number
- 40 | 7
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article analyses the organising process of Turkish and Moroccan immigrant groups in Amsterdam over a long-term period. In it, we argue that organisational legitimacy is the driving factor of an organisational process. We understand legitimacy as a generalised belief that an organisation's actions are desirable, suitable and appropriate within a given social system. Like other scholars, we distinguish between cognitive legitimacy and sociopolitical legitimacy. Cognitive legitimacy is demonstrated when a new organisation is accepted by the public as a taken-for-granted feature of society - in this case, we refer to acceptance by the immigrant constituency. Sociopolitical legitimacy is demonstrated when an organisation is accepted by external political actors. Our analyses reveal that the immigrant organising process is first and foremost driven by cognitive legitimacy; external actors play a less important role. This article, however, also shows that immigrant groups can have unique legitimacy processes. As we found was the case for Moroccans in Amsterdam, immigrant groups with relatively weak ethnic networks and ethnic consciousness rely more on sociopolitical legitimacy to fuel their organising process than those with more group-based resources.
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