Moroccan laborers and their families started migrating to the Netherlands from the 1960s. We used research findings on migration and acculturation to examine the historical and social-cultural context of Moroccan-Dutch. Dutch administration at national, regional, and local level had no integration policy upon their arrival. Later, when many Moroccan-Dutch stayed longer in the Netherlands than anticipated, the Dutch administration favored a multicultural policy based on integration and maintenance of ethnic culture. This contrasted with the Moroccan policy: Moroccans abroad were told not to integrate in Dutch society but to invest in Morocco. Due to the weak outcomes and a negative attitude towards migrants, the focus in Dutch policy changed to assimilation policy. We argue that this policy reinforced the negative factors, such as exclusion, segregation, and low social capital. Compared to other non-western migrants in the Netherlands, Moroccan-Dutch score relatively high on some vital participation domains (e.g., education), but also high on risk factors (e.g., unemployment and ill-health). Studying the sociolinguistic situation and social environment related to migration contributes to a better understanding of acculturation of Moroccan-Dutch. Insights in these factors can shed light on how to understand and improve acculturation outcomes.
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