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 the second year of the project (2020), we completed the data collection and the transcription of the group discussions among adolescent friendship groups. These data will be analysed in 2021. We are in the final planning phase of the survey experiment, which was approved by the university’s ethics committee and is scheduled to be conducted in the first half of 2021. In 2020 we also conducted several secondary data analyses and presented the results at conferences (e.g., ISPP and CoMeS). Two papers are currently under review.

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