Religion, Identity, and Muslim Second Generation School Outcomes in Europe

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 13:06
Location: Hörsaal 32 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Susan LEE, GK SOCLIFE, University of Cologne, Germany
This paper explores the influences of religiosity, ethnic identity, and national identity on the outcomes of Muslim second generation immigrant children, who as a group consistently tend to be more religious than the native population and who are often viewed as a religious "other.” Born and raised in the host country while experiencing multiple cultures, how do Muslim second-generation immigrants identify themselves, and how might religiosity relate to their identity as well as their school outcomes? Research questions are explored using the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries (CILS4EU). Study 1 examines the functional role of religiosity of Muslim second generation high school students on school performance in Germany, based on the theoretical arguments of the context-dependent mechanisms of religion as a "bridge" or "barrier" for immigrant outcomes. Results through multilevel modeling indicate that although Muslim students have lower school grades than their non-Muslim counterparts, the presence of religious peers has positive effects for the outcomes of nominal Muslims, i.e. Muslims who are not religiously active. Findings of this study partially confirm and partially refute the notion of religion as a "barrier" in Western European contexts. Study 2 explores how context impacts the relationship between religiosity and identity as well as the possibility of hyphenated identities (expressing both ethnic and national attachment) among Muslim youth. As expected, results indicate that more religious Muslim children tend to express stronger ethnic identity and weaker national identity than their less religious counterparts, which is further influenced in contexts where anti-Muslim sentiment is higher. In addition, preliminary results suggest that less religious Muslim students are more likely to express hyphenated identities (both ethnic and national attachment). This paper aims to disentangle and examine the complex relationship between meso-contexts, identity, and religiosity of immigrant youth.