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Ethnic retention and host culture adoption among Turkish immigrants in Germany, France and the Netherlands: A controlled comparison


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  • Ersanilli, Evelyn
  • Koopmans, Ruud
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    The paper explores the determinants of, and the relationship between ethnic culture retention and host society culture adoption among Turkish immigrants in Germany, France, and the Netherlands, using original survey data. To maximize cross-national comparability, we focus on immigrants from two Turkish regions who themselves or whose parents migrated before 1975. As indicators of ethnic retention we investigate Turkish and Muslim identification, Turkish language proficiency and observance of Islamic religious practices. Host culture adoption is measured by host country identification, host country language proficiency and use, and interethnic social contacts. We formulate hypotheses regarding crossnational differences based on how integration policy approaches affect the material benefits and emotional costs of retention and adoption. We find that ethnic retention is strongest in the Netherlands, where multicultural policies were long prevalent, while host culture adoption is strongest in the French context, which has more strongly emphasised assimilation, at least where participation in the public realm is concerned. We further show that on the individual level, there is a negative relationship between ethnic retention and host culture adoption, which persists after controlling for relevant background variables. -- Das Paper untersucht anhand von Umfragedaten, inwieweit türkische Migranten in Deutschland, Frankreich und den Niederlanden die Kultur ihres Herkunftslandes bewahren und wie stark sie die Kultur ihres Wohnlandes annehmen, welche Determinanten diese Prozesse bestimmen und wie sie miteinander zusammenhängen. Um eine größtmögliche Vergleichbarkeit der Länder zu erreichen, konzentriert sich die Analyse auf Migranten aus zwei türkischen Provinzen, die selbst oder deren Eltern vor 1975 zugewandert sind. Als Indikatoren für die Bewahrung der Herkunftslandkultur werden türkische und muslimische Identifikation, türkische Sprachkenntnisse und das Befolgen islamischer religiöser Vorschriften herangezogen. Anhand von Wohnlandidentifikation, der Beherrschung und des Gebrauchs der Sprache des Wohnlandes sowie der interethnischen Kontakte wird gemessen, inwieweit die Kultur des Wohnlandes angenommen wird. Die von uns aufgestellten Hypothesen zu Unterschieden zwischen den Ländern gehen von der Annahme aus, dass der materielle Nutzen und die emotionalen Kosten, die mit einer Bewahrung der Kultur des Herkunftslandes oder einer Orientierung auf die des Wohnlandes einhergehen, je nach integrationspolitischem Ansatz verschieden ausfallen. Unsere Befunde zeigen, dass die Bewahrung der Kultur des Herkunftslandes am deutlichsten in den Niederlanden ausgeprägt ist, wo lange Jahre eine Politik des Multikulturalismus verfolgt wurde. Die Übernahme der Kultur des Wohnlandes hingegen ist am deutlichsten in Frankreich, einem stärkeren Verfechter der Assimilation zumindest im öffentlichen Bereich, zu beobachten. Aus den Ergebnissen geht des Weiteren hervor, dass es zwischen der Bewahrung der Herkunftslandkultur und der Annahme der Wohnlandkultur einen negativen Zusammenhang gibt, der auch unter Kontrolle relevanter Drittvariablen bestehen bleibt.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Migration, Integration, Transnationalization with number SP IV 2009-701.

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    Date of creation: 2009
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmit:spiv2009701

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    1. Maykel Werkuyten & Shervin Nekuee, 1999. "Subjective Well-Being, Discrimination and Cultural Conflict: Iranians Living in The Netherlands," Social Indicators Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 281-306, July.
    2. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul W, 1995. "The Endogeneity between Language and Earnings: International Analyses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 246-88, April.
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