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Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations

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  • Inglehart, Ronald

    (University of Michigan)

  • Norris, Pippa

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

To what extent do migrants carry their culture with them, and to what extent do they acquire the culture of their new home? The answer not only has important political implications; it also helps us understand the extent to which basic cultural values are enduring or malleable; and whether cultural values are traits of individuals or are attributes of a given society. Part I considers theories about the impact of growing social diversity in Western nations. We classify two categories of society: ORIGINS (defined as Islamic Countries of Origin for Muslim migrants, including twenty nations with plurality Muslim populations) and DESTINATIONS (defined as Western Countries of Destination for Muslim migrants, including twenty?two OECD member states with Protestant or Roman Catholic majority populations). Using this framework, we demonstrate that on average, the basic social values of Muslim migrants fall roughly mid?way between those prevailing in their country of origin and their country of destination. We conclude that Muslim migrants do not move to Western countries with rigidly fixed attitudes; instead, they gradually absorb much of the host culture, as assimilation theories suggest.

Suggested Citation

  • Inglehart, Ronald & Norris, Pippa, 2009. "Muslim Integration into Western Cultures: Between Origins and Destinations," Working Paper Series rwp09-007, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp09-007
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