FES | Federación Española de Sociología

XII Congreso de la FES

Second generation Muslims in Europe: Transnational Trends or Diversified Communities?

GT 25 Sociología de las Migraciones

Colleen Boland (Complutense University of Madrid; Johns Hopkins University)


Sesión de comunicaciones orales Franja 3 : Dimensiones Demográficas de las Migraciones, Integración y Segunda Generación
Responsable(s): Ana María López Sala (CSIC)
Tipo de sesión: Sesión de comunicaciones orales
Día: viernes, 1 de julio de 2016
Hora: 09:00 a 10:45
Lugar: 009
Mesa 2: Segunda generación e integración

In the past few decades, Europe has experienced significant immigration, and a boundary often remains between minority immigrant groups and native European society. Member states consequently address immigration with integration policies in order to ameliorate differences. However, despite these efforts, given the Christian tradition and secular paradigm of Europe, some are wary of the recent increase in Muslim immigration, believing the Muslim faith to be illegitimate in European society; this suspicion is compounded with reservations society may have about immigration in general. While some argue for a harmonious “European Islam,” others claim that Islam is incompatible with European culture. The debate assumes an even more complex dimension when addressing second generation immigrants self-identifying as Muslims. Studies to date suggest that the institutional arrangements of each country, including approaches to religious freedom, church state-relations, and immigrant integration and incorporation, can influence a sense of belonging among second generation Muslims to their respective member states or societies. Indeed, how the second generation identifies with its society is a sensitive issue, because as citizens (in the majority of cases) they are entitled to comprehensive inclusion. I am currently investigating the second generation of Muslims in Madrid and how they identify both with Islam and Spanish society, seeking to contextualize in which ways political and societal realities influence this identity. In studying Madrid’s second generation Muslim population, a comparison with like populations in France and the United Kingdom is useful. These countries hold comparative value not only due to the volume of Muslim immigration each has, but in the distinctive ways in which these states approach integration, as compared with Spain’s relatively recent immigration and minimal conflict. Indeed, while many variables apart from religion affect integration, there is less confrontation and more of a sense of belonging among second generation youth depending on how their society reacts to religious diversity, whether pragmatically or polemically. Moreover, second generation identity, in an increasingly globalized and individualized European culture, can be diversified even within a specific society, as integration is a two-way process involving the individual actor, as well. Identity is based not only on the second generation’s individual choice, but is also shaped by their very own societies: national pluralism, or a society’s approach to difference, in this case couched in terms of religion and the state, can significantly affect identity among second generation Muslims in Europe—a reality these societies should address.


Palabras clave: segunda generación, Islam europeo, políticas nacionales de integración, sentido de pertenencia