Religion, Religiosity, and the Social-Emotional Integration of Muslim Youth

Research question/goal: 

Why do Muslim immigrant-origin adolescents have fewer German friends than non-Muslim ones? And why do they identify less strongly with Germany? The planned project aims to answer these questions in order to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms that drive the social–emotional integration of Muslim youth. In particular, it will investigate whether Muslim religiosity hampers integration, a hypothesis often claimed but not sufficiently studied.

Comprehensive longitudinal secondary data analyses are at the heart of the investigation. Based on three complementary panel studies (CILS4EU, FIS, NEPS), the process of social–emotional integration of young Muslims in Germany between 11 and 20 years will be studied. In detail, we will examine to what extent religion and religiosity matter for friendship choices and the development of young Muslims’ national identification. Furthermore, we will test whether non-Muslim youth exclude their Muslim peers, and, if so, what consequences this has for their social-emotional integration.

To gain a deeper understanding of these processes, two methodological approaches will supplement the quantitative analysis. Group discussions with friendship cliques will serve to establish the extent to which religion and religiosity affect the collective orientations of youth and determine their identity development. In choice experiments, Muslim and non-Muslim adolescents will choose between fictional peers of different religion and levels of religiosity. This allows for assessing the importance of these characteristics for friendship choices.

Current stage: 

At the end of 2019, the project was close to completion of the data collection for the group discussions among adolescent friendship groups; the group discussion data are currently being transcribed. Survey experiments are in the planning stage and will be conducted in 2020. During the first year of the project, we have performed several of the planned secondary data analyses , presented them at conferences (e.g., RC 28 and EUSN), and submitted manuscripts based on them for publication.

Fact sheet

Funding: 
DFG
Duration: 
2018 to 2021
Status: 
ongoing
Data Sources: 
Primary data collection (group discussions, choice experiments); secondary data analysis (CILS4EU,et al.)
Geographic Space: 
Germany

Publications