Why do so called second generation ‘social climbers’, identify with their ethnicity? When do these adult children of immigrants, who reached high educated
levels, identify in ethnic terms and why? How do their identifications develop over time?
Many in the Netherlands wonder why children of immigrants, especially when they are higher educated, ‘still’ identify with their ethnicity, and why some of them ‘still’ have friends with the same ethnic background. Such co-ethnic orientation is often interpreted as an expression of segregation and as unwillingness to ‘integrate’. Does his view do justice to the experiences of these individuals?
In her research, Marieke Slootman focuses on this theme of ethnic identification. Furthermore, she considers the analytical use of the terms identity and ethnicity, and explores the possibilities of Mixed Methods research. She recently finished her dissertation, titled: Soulmates. Reinvention of ethnic identification among higher educated second generation Moroccan and Turkish Dutch. (English and Dutch summary can be downloaded below).
According to the research 87% of the by Motivaction interviewed people (18-34 years) is happy with support from Dutch Muslims for IS and they don’t want the Dutch government to prevent them. However, they also don’t believe in prosperity without democracy and don’t believe in a caliphate. But groups of jihadi’s do establish some welcoming changes in the region. Turkish youth seem to be much more positive about IS and the ‘holy war’ in Syria and Iraq than their Moroccan counterparts.
Minister of Social Affairs and Employment and vice premier, Asscher expressed his worries about the research, explaining that he already was worried about the Turkish community who according to him, does not seem to feel ‘at home’ in the Netherlands. But the next day he was somehow doubtful about the research because of its inconsistencies. How can this youth support IS-fighters, but at the same time be against a caliphate and for democracy? He questioned.
Ahmet Kaya, PhD researcher used an own inquiry among Turkish Dutch people. According to his research, 90% of the more than 1000 respondents condemn IS-violence. Kaya admits he cannot control if the respondents are part of the target group, since the inquiry was done online, but the results do correlate with the ideas he experiences around himself.
According to Kaya the research done by Motivaction should not be taken seriously. Verheggen, Motivaction-researcher disagrees and says that nuances in a research are very easy to get lost. Being against Assad, does not automatically mean that you’re supportive of a caliphate. A possible explanation for the (so-called) support of Turkish youth for IS might be the Turkish media, that is often pro-Erdogan and anti-Assad. Verheggen says this is however not completely clear and is pleased with more thorough research.
Campaigners for gay rights within Muslim groups will join Amsterdam’s Emancipation Minister in the city’s Gay Parade. Invited passengers on Bussemaker’s boat include representatives of Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese, Antillean and Hindustani consultative bodies and partnerships and support points for homosexual immigrant youths. Additionally, the Turkish Dutch homosexual activist Done Fil will be on board.
A Turkish newspaper is reporting that the controversy over a Dutch lesbian couple providing foster care for a Turkish-Dutch boy may reach courts. The newspaper Sabah is quoted as saying that the Turkish government may take the case to court in an effort to have the boy returned to his family. The boy’s biological mother had asked Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to intervene, though Dutch courts have ruled that the boy should stay in foster care. The incident has sparked wider discussion regarding the acceptability for homosexual and Christian couples to care for Muslim children.
Following a ruling that the compulsory attendance of integration classes for Turkish immigrants is illegal, thousands of Turkish nationals in the Netherlands may now seek compensation for the cost of the course. The government established the rules for compulsory integration course in 2006, which have now been deemed illegal under treaties between Turkey and the EU. The Dutch government has already said that those taking the course after August 16 of this year would be refunded, but not others. Lawyer Bilal Coskun has established a foundation to represent those forced to take the courses, representing them with claims for an average of 5,000 Euros per person.
Turkish Dutch students should learn about domestic violence and honor murder in elementary school, according to Turkish labour union HTIB and Chairman Mustafa Ayranci. According to the Telegraaf, the chairman suggested this education would lead to changing “the mentality among all Turks”. Amsterdam alderman for Diversity and Integration Andree van Es commented in response to Sp!ts that while there has already been some improvement, “the Turkish community is still closed off”.
Dutch News reports that Turkish Dutch women have poorer health than other immigrant women in the country, which has contributed to fewer jobs among this segment of the population. Only half of Turkish Dutch women are employed, compared with 72% of Dutch women. Moroccan Dutch women, the article reports, also face higher unemployment and poorer health.
During the Kutlu Dogum Haftasi (blessed birth week), 30,000 Turkish Dutch gathered to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday. During this week, Mohammad is commemorated by Koran recitation and singing religious songs. The event is held annually in a different European city: this year’s celebration took place at the Arena in Amsterdam.
A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Utrecht reveals that children of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants to the Netherlands practice their religion less rigorously than their parents. The overwhelming majority still see themselves as Muslim. The results stem from a survey of 2000 members of the Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch communities and published in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, measuring how “vibrant” religious feelings and practices were between the two generations. The younger generation scored lower on both counts.
Other results from the report include the observation that highly-educated Turks and Moroccans describing themselves as Muslims practice their faith more than the lower-educated, which is exactly the opposite among the first generation. Finally, the research suggests that the assimilation of immigrant groups in the Netherlands will take “several generations.”