Feeling European : an exploration of ethnic disparities among immigrants
Over the last 20 years, European identity has become a key topic widely investigated in social sciences. However, most research has only focused on EU nationals and EU immigrants, neglecting the fact that a substantial segment of citizens in Europe are non-EU immigrants. This article explores the differences between and within EU and non-EU immigrant groups in terms of European identity and potential factors behind these differences. Based on the 2013 IAB-SOEP Migration Sample of first generation immigrants in Germany (N = 2581), this paper reveals that non-EU immigrants tend to identify as European – even if to a lesser extent than EU immigrants. Moreover it provides a systematic comparative exploration of different factors possibly able to foster a European identity among EU and non-EU immigrants. It reveals, for instance, that religious affiliation has no significant impact but that spatial mobility is especially important in accounting for patterns in ethnic disparities in the endorsement of a European identity. Furthermore, this article illuminates a positive association between European identity and identity with the receiving society among both EU and non-EU immigrants as well as a positive association between European identity and identification with the origin country among EU immigrants.