The study was bound the theory of social integration developed by Emile Durkheim. Social integration is the way in which people interact, connect and validate each other within a community. The theory posits that lack of positive social interaction and acceptance has negative consequences on individuals and communities.
It further posits that engaging in social roles helps people build self-esteem, physical willingness and a sense of commitment to the community around them. The theory proposes that people experience mental, emotional and physical benefits when they believe that they are an accepted and contributing part of a larger community. Basically the theory advocates for social participation and inclusivity. These can be achieved by having the right mind-sets and in as far as states are concerned it is through having the right policies. The theory also suggests that social participation, social exclusion, and social capital are all elements of social integration. Thus the outcome of the successful adaptation of integration of the majority of the population of different ethnic groups is social participation in full.
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A multidimensional concept of social participation is used here in the broadest sense and covers a lot of issues, ethnically indivisible civic and political participation; involvement in the economic, political, and cultural life of society; representation at different levels of governance, participation in groups of all ethnic groups citizens Such a conception of social participation enables maintaining that it ensures stability and irreversibility of integration. Also since participation is considered a process and flexible concept, it can mean various things under different circumstances for different individuals, groups, or institutions. Kamali (1999) concurs that social participation could be described as one of the dimensions of social integration, participation in the construction and reconstruction of social reality or in the production and reproduction of social life. Another dimension could be based on exercising and having a sense of belonging and satisfaction. When participating in social life, individuals get involved in social relations that comprise grounds for successful strategies and satisfaction. It also means accepting the very basis of the educational system.
This acceptance of the system is not, however, based on the belief in pre-existing ‘rules or truths; it depends on a process of incorporation of characteristics that determines how one acts, thinks, understands, and evaluates one’s own and others’ actions. Therefore in line with the common experience of ethnic minorities. They usually suffer exclusion and marginalisation socially, economically as well as politically. This has had negative impacts on their development.
It limits their ability to participate fully in development. Hence there is need for an integrative approach when dealing with development and ethnic minorities that is designing developmental practices that are inclusive and that appreciate ethnic diversity. Integration will enable a development that is acceptable to all and a development pattern that it is even as it takes into consideration the needs of both the minority and the majority.