The Social Transmission of Religiosity to Second Generation Migrants: An Interactive Model

Thursday, July 17, 2014
Room: 511
Koen VAN DER BRACHT , Sociology, Ghent University, Belgium
In this paper, we examine the social transmission of religiosity to second generation migrants in cross-national perspective. We apply theories on cultural transmission and assess the influence of vertical interactions (i.e. through parents), horizontal interactions (i.e. through peers) and oblique interactions (i.e. through social institutions) and the religious context on the transmission of first generation religiosity to second generation co-ethnics. We use data from four waves (2-5; 2004-2010) of the European Social Survey (ESS) comprising 8,123 second generation migrants coming from 102 origin countries and living in 26 European destination countries. We apply cross-classified multilevel analyses to examine subjective religiosity and the frequency of praying. Results indicate that the social transmission of religiosity is quite successful: second generation migrants tend to be more religious the higher the religiosity among first generation co-ethnics. The transmission is more successful when interactions are favorable for this transmission process, however: when second generation migrants grew up in traditional families, are less socially integrated, have spent less time in educational institutions and in countries where religiosity is lower. Our research also shows important divergences between the transmission of subjective religiosity, which is more universal, and the frequency of praying, which is more susceptible to the influence of interactions. This could indicate a trend towards the privatization of religiosity among migrants in Europe in the long term.