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: 

In summer and fall of the third year of the project (2021), we conducted a survey experiment, the data of which we will evaluate in 2022. Furthermore, we presented secondary data analyses at several conferences (INAS, Academy for Sociology, ECSR). Social Forces and Social Networks have accepted two articles based on secondary data analyses for publication. Further articles are in preparation.

Fact sheet

2018 to 2023
Data Sources: 
Primary data collection (group discussions, choice experiments); secondary data analysis (CILS4EU,et al.)
Geographic Space: