Blocked Acculturation. How cultural origins and contemporary exclusion shape the values of Europe’s immigrants

Andreas Wimmer
Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC, 6 juin 2014
  • Andreas Wimmer à l'OSC Andreas Wimmer à l'OSC

Le prochain séminaire scientifique de l'OSC, ouvert à tous, est programmé le vendredi 6 juin 2014, de 9h30-11h, en salle Annick Percheron, 98 rue de l'Université, Paris 7e.

Invité : Andreas Wimmer, Hughes-Rogers Professor of Sociology, Faculty Associate in Politics, Princeton University (NJ).

Blocked Acculturation.  How cultural origins and contemporary exclusion shape the values of Europe’s immigrants.

Which immigrant groups differ most from the cultural values held by mainstream society and why?
We explore this rarely asked question by
testing whether distant linguistic or religious origins, value differences that immigrants “import” from their home countries, the maintenance of transnational ties and thus diasporic cultures, or legal and social disadvantage in the country of settlement shape acculturation processes.
data from the European Social Survey, we analyze the values held by almost 100’000 individuals associated with 329 immigrant groups and the native majorities of 23 countries.
We first demonstrate that the most heterodox immigrant groups are those who are legally or socially disadvan
taged, rather than those who maintain transnational ties or hail from culturally distant origins, such as those shaped by non-Indo-European languages or by Islam. We then explore possible mechanisms and show that disadvantaged immigrants are more heterodox because the values of their countries of origin diverge more from those of natives. This does not explain the heterodoxy of children of immigrants, however, which emerges because acculturation processes are blocked and the values of the parent generation therefore partially maintained. There is little support for an alternative, “oppositional culture” interpretation. We conclude that from the second generation onward, cultural values are endogenous to the incorporation process, rather than shaping it as an exogenous force.