Moving towards symbolic religiosity? An exploration of generational changes in levels and forms of religiosity in the Turkish and Moroccan origin population in Western Europe.

Evelyn Ersanilli, IMI, Oxford University

This paper investigates generational changes in religious identity and behaviour (eating halal, participating in Ramadan and mosque visits). It expands on previous studies by not only looking at generational changes in levels of religiosity but also exploring if there is any evidence for a shift to a ‘symbolic religiosity’ in which the relation between identity and behaviour weakens over generations. Furthermore I examine whether there are generational changes in the association between religious identity and ethnic and residence country identity.

Data come from the Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Study (SCIICS, Ersanilli & Koopmans 2013). Preliminary analyses show a modest decline in religious identity from the first to the in-between and second generation. Participation in Ramadan and observance of a halal diet remains stable. The strongest decline is in mosque attendance. Contrary to common claims that the relation between religious identity and ethnic and residence country identity will weaken over generations, the analyses show a remarkably stable relation across generations. For all generations I find a positive relation between religious and ethnic identity and a negative relation between religious and residence country identity, though neither relation is very strong.


About the speaker
Evelyn Ersanilli is a Departmental Lecturer in Migration Studies at International Migration Institute (IMI), University of Oxford. She has a PhD in Sociology from VU University Amsterdam. Her research interests are immigrant integration in comparative perspective, citizenship, and migration policy development. Recent publications include “Spousal Choice among the Children of Turkish and Moroccan Immigrants in Six European Countries: Transnational Spouse or Co-ethnic Migrant?', International Migration Review (with Sarah Carol and Mareike Wagner), 'Model(ling) Citizens? Values and Attitudes of Turkish Immigrants and Their Descendants in Germany, France and the Netherlands', Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies.

Date: 08 April 2014

Time: 13:00 - 14:00


UNU-MERIT