Title: Religious identification and politicisation in the face of discrimination: Support for political Islam and political action among the Turkish and Moroccan second generation in Europe
Authors: Fleischmann, Fenella ×
Phalet, Karen
Klein, Olivier #
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: British Psychological Society
Series Title: British Journal of Social Psychology vol:50 issue:4 pages:628-648
Abstract: Taking an approach from religion as a social identity and using large-scale comparative
surveys in five European cities, we investigate when and how perceived discrimination is associated
with religious identification and politicisation among the second generation of Turkish and Moroccan
Muslims. We distinguish support for political Islam (e.g., 'Islam should be represented in politics') from
political action (e.g., willingness to demonstrate on behalf of Muslims) as distinct forms of politicisation.
In addition, we test the mediating role of religious identification in processes of politicisation. Study 1
estimates multi-group structural equation models of support for political Islam in Belgium, the
Netherlands and Sweden. In line with a social identity model of politicisation and across nine
intergroup contexts, Muslims who perceived more discrimination identified (even) more strongly as
Muslims; and high Muslim identifiers were most ready to support political Islam. In support of a
competing social stigma hypothesis, however, negative direct and total effects of perceived
discrimination suggest predominant de-politicisation. Using separate subsamples across four
intergroup contexts in Belgium, Study 2 adds political action tendencies as a distinct form of
politicisation. Whereas religious identification positively predicts both forms of politicisation,
perceived discrimination has differential effects: Muslims who perceived more discrimination were
more weary of supporting political Islam, yet more ready to engage in political action. Taken together,
the studies reveal that some Muslim citizens will politicise and others will de-politicise in the face of
discrimination as a function of their religious identification and of prevailing forms of politicisation.
ISSN: 0144-6665
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Social and Cultural Psychology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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