Birgit Becker
Immigrants' Emotional Identification with the Host Society: The Example of Turkish Parents' Naming Practices in Germany

Ethnicities, 2009: 9, Heft 2, S. 200-225
ISSN: 1468-7968

The naming practice of immigrants is studied as an example of their emotional identification with the host society and with the society of origin. Using data from the project ‘Preschool Education and Educational Careers among Migrant Children’ it is analyzed if the first name chosen for their child by Turkish parents in Germany is a name that is common only in Turkey (emotional separation), only in Germany (emotional assimilation) or in both countries (emotional integration). Most of the parents choose a Turkish name for their child, but girls are more frequently given names that are common in both cultures than are boys, while German names are only rarely chosen. Intermarriage strongly decreases the probability for separation in naming and especially increases the probability for the integration option, while the presence of a parent with German citizenship enhances assimilation more strongly than it does integration. Families who are more traditional and religious tend to choose a Turkish name. The results of the choice of first name are compared to those of analogous analyses of the respondents’ identity.