Believe or Behave. the Importance of Religion and Customs/Traditions for the National Identity of European Countries

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Klara PLECITA, Institute of Sociology, CAS, Czech Republic
Dana HAMPLOVA, Institute of Sociology, CAS, Czech Republic

Language, religion, and traditions are considered parts of the cultural understanding of nationhood (Shulman (2002). Religion (especially the dominant one) has played an important role in shaping the nations. Even in the more secular nations, religious emblems (institutions, symbols, customs and traditions) are an important part of national identity. Europe has been Christian for centuries. Religion served as a mode of social organization, a way of framing, channelling, and organizing social relations. Nevertheless, in the secular states of Europe, Christianity is not an equally important criterion of belonging to the nation. Immigration from non-Christian countries brings, however, concerns about national identity and the urge to define community on the basis of religion or traditions. Analysing the data from ISSP (2003 and) 2013 and using multilevel regressions we will show that in more religious countries, people rather define belonging to national community on the basis of Christianity, while in less religious countries they rather define belonging on the basis of sharing traditions. Research also shows that people with foreign-born parents stress the importance of religion and especially traditions less often than people with the long ancestral ties in the nations.

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