Research on Muslim Pan-ethnicity

van der Does, Tamara. "Changes in Religiosity during Adolescence among European Children of Immigrants: Towards or Away from the Mainstream" Submitted for review

Immigration theorists argue that religion in Europe is a source of social cleavage, a “bright boundary” separating Muslim immigrants from non-Muslims (Alba 2005; Zolberg and Woon 1999). This dynamic can lead to salient religious identities and subsequent heightened religiosity. I use latent growth analysis to model changes in religiosity in early adolescence using the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey of Four European Countries. Even as they secularize, I find that Christian children of immigrants assign more importance to religion compared to natives, a difference that does not decrease over time. Muslim children of immigrants are not only more attached to religion but participate more in religious communities over time, diverging from other second-generation immigrants. However, Muslim religiosity does not impede engagement with the mainstream, but may instead foster the development of a Muslim European pan-ethnic identity.

van der Does, Tamara. "Political Participation Within Majority and Minority Religious Communities Across Europe" Research in progress

This paper explores the political participation of minority and majority groups in Europe, and its roots within religious organizations and national policy contexts. According to theories of political engagement and social capital, all religious organizations provide social and material resources necessary for political activities. Moreover, minority groups who attend religious events might also develop a politicized pan-ethnic identity as a basis for mobilization. The relationships between religious organizations and political engagement is also shaped by the larger political context. While political rights for foreigners and broader multiculturalism policies enable minority religious organizations to provide more services to their members, these policies can also alienate majority groups from the political mainstream. Using multilevel analysis with data from the European Social Survey and Migrant Integration Policy Index from 2008 to 2015, this study is the first to quantitatively investigate these macro-, meso-, and micro-level processes. To that end, I compare the political participation levels of Christian native Europeans with Christian and Muslim children of immigrants in twenty majority-Christian European countries. I find that attendance at religious events is associated with more political engagement among both majority and minority groups. However, the effect is stronger for Muslim children of immigrants compared to Christian native Europeans and Christian children of immigrants. Surprisingly, both native Europeans and children of immigrants are more politically engaged in countries with stronger political rights for foreigners and broader multiculturalism policies. At a time of low voter turnout, this research shows that minority and majority political engagement can be encouraged by the same types of organizations and policies. However, religious organizations play a greater role for minority groups experiencing a significant level of segregation and discrimination.

Contact Information

Santa Fe Institute

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Email: tamara@santafe.edu

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