BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Social and Economic Integration



Social Integration is defined as the process by which social minority groups including racial minorities, refugees and underprivileged persons move into the mainstream of societies. Social integration requires that these individuals become proficient in a national common language of the society, accept and abide by all the laws of the land as well as adopt and practice the set of values associated with that society. It ensures that individuals and groups unite in communications and actions, resulting in a common understanding of one another and the society at large. Social integration does not mean that people have to change who they are and become what they’re not. However, it means that they learn to accommodate, tolerate, accept and respect other groups in the society while identifying with the majority ethnicity as the common way of living. Social integration is a naturally occurring phenomenon which increases peace, unity and cohesiveness in a society, giving everyone a sense of belonging. The only detriment of social integration is that children and adolescents born in different racial societies may lose their original racial identity.

Economic integration, on the other hand, is an organized economic arrangement between regions and countries that often include the reduction or elimination of trade barriers as well as the coordination of financial and fiscal policies. The major purposes of economic integration are to reduce costs for both consumers and producers and to increase trade between regions and countries involved in the agreement. Generally, there are fewer barriers to trade and increased political and economic coordination between these regions. Benefits of economic integration include reduction in the cost of trade, increased employment opportunities and stronger political cooperation. Reduction in the cost of trade increases the availability and selection of goods and services which leads to greater purchasing power. Additionally, employment opportunities improve because liberalization of trade increases market expansion, technology sharing and cross-border investment flows. Finally, economic integration increases political cooperation among countries because it leads to stronger economic ties, which can potentially help in conflict resolution and greater stability. Irrespective of the above mentioned benefits, however, economic integration can occasionally lead to trade diversion, resulting in the deterioration of national sovereignty.

As seen in the preceding paragraphs, social and economic integration play unique and significant roles in increasing and maintaining unity within and amongst countries. These factors favor and improve globalization, the increased interconnectedness and interdependence of peoples and countries- a major backbone of global civilization.

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