Lee, Susan (2018). Religion, Identity and Adaptation among Children of Immigrants in Four European Countries. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.


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The long-term outlook for the children of immigrants is of particular interest for immigration scholars and policymakers alike. Due to concerns of economic stability and societal cohesion, it is not surprising that the fate of the children of immigrants is one of the most important issues when discussing the future of Western Europe. Against this background, it is timely to explore the adaptation of this group. This dissertation focuses on two oft-discussed themes in understanding and explaining adaptation outcomes- religiosity and identity. Three central questions guide this dissertation: (i) What are determinants of identity for the children of immigrants in Europe, and how might identity vary depending on religiosity and context? (ii) What implications does identity have for the adaptation of minority youth? (iii) What is the relationship between religiosity and school performance, and how might this relationship be influenced by religious peers? These three studies test the assumptions of whether religion and ethnic attachment are disadvantageous or conducive to adaptation, as well as how migrant youth reconcile seemingly conflicting identities in contexts that might not be welcoming. Towards this end, the first study of this dissertation examines the relationship between religiosity and identity and the conditions under which immigrants express various forms of identity. Building upon previous identity literature, this study goes beyond more simplistic views of identity to examine the possible presence and coexistence of multiple identities and to find cases and the circumstances under which youth express single or combined ethnic and national identities. I analyze generational status, religiosity, and school context of the migrant sample in the first wave of the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries (CILS4EU). Results of multilevel logistic regressions find no evidence for either assimilation or ethnic revival among second generation students in comparison with first generation students. A clear relationship was also found with religiosity and identity, with more religious students more likely to express integrated or separated identities and less likely to have assimilated identity, in line with the perception of incompatibility between religion and assimilation. Results also find support for the role of perceived discrimination and ethnic composition in identity. The second study of this dissertation goes further to examine what identity means for migrant youth. Among other findings, results indicate that assimilated identity was not necessarily the most advantageous or beneficial strategy for immigrant adaptation compared with integrated identity, supporting a segmented assimilation perspective on the merits of bicultural identities. Moreover, acculturation identity worked in divergent directions for the delinquent behavior of European and non-European students, suggesting that identity works in different ways across groups. The final study in this dissertation tests the arguments of religion as a “bridge versus barrier” for immigrant adaptation through an analysis of the relationship between religiosity and school performance for adolescents in three European countries, which vary in their accommodations of religious rights- Netherlands, England, and Germany. Findings challenge the premise of religion as a barrier in Europe, finding that religiosity and religious peers is either inconsequential for school performance, such as in the case of Germany, or even positively associated with school outcomes under certain conditions, such as in the Netherlands. I contend that the dichotomy of the “bridge versus barrier” framework of religion is overly simplistic and outline suggestions for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Lee, Susansusan.lee@uk-koeln.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-84325
Date: 12 July 2018
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences
Subjects: Social sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Date of oral exam: 10 July 2018
NameAcademic Title
Kroneberg, ClemensProf. Dr.
Carol, SarahProf. Dr.
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/8432


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