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Modes of Difference and Connection: Language, Education and Religion in Migrant Families

  • Author(s): Soehl, Thomas Georg
  • Advisor(s): Waldinger, Roger
  • et al.
Abstract

This dissertation examines how home country language and religion are transmitted in migrant families. In a set of four essays I examine how these transmission processes are tied to processes of assimilation/acculturation, the maintenance of home-country ties and perceptions of discrimination of the children of immigrants in schools. The starting point of my analysis is that both language and religion, in important and similar ways, function as modes of connection in migrant families with family members and friends who remain in the place of origin. At the same time vis-�-vis in the destination country, language and religion are two key cultural practices that can categorically differentiate immigrants and their children from the national majority populations. Drawing on a recently collected nationally representative survey of immigrants and the children of immigrants in France, the Trajectories and Origins (TeO) project, the first two chapters of this dissertation focus on the processes of intergenerational transmission of language and religion. The third chapter, uses data about the schooling experiences of the second-generation in the TeO to develop and test a set of hypotheses about the incentive structures that migrant parents face when deciding to transmit different cultural practices to their destination-country-born children. A final essay examines how religion and language factor in the continuity of social attitudes in immigrants and their children by analyzing attitudes of immigrant and second-generation respondents from 83 countries around the world living in 23 European countries.

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