Title: National identities and representations of citizenship: a comparison of Turks, Moroccans and working-class Belgians in Brussels
Authors: Phalet, Karen ×
Swyngedouw, Marc #
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Series Title: Ethnicities vol:2 issue:1 pages:2-30
Abstract: Postwar migration to European cities has led to the progressive decoupling of civil, social and political rights from national membership. With its linguistic divide and its intricate institutional architecture, the city of Brussels is a strategic research context for a critical test of the limits of prevailing national integration models and the emergence of post- or transnational forms of citizenship. The Brussels Minorities Survey was set up to compare identifications and representations of citizenship in random samples of Turkish and Moroccan minorities, and in a matched comparison sample of working-class Belgians. First, a comparison of Turkish, Moroccan and Belgian self-categorizations reveals the multiplication of ethnopolitical identities, along with the continuing importance of formal national membership for identity construction. Second, in the absence of formal political rights for non-EU citizens, Turkish and Moroccan experiences of citizenship are closely linked to their informal participation in ethnic and cross-ethnic organizations. Typically, ethnic and cross-ethnic forms of participation go hand in hand, with a common emphasis on cross-ethnic and conventional types of organization. Finally, Turkish and Moroccan representations of (dual) citizenship are multidimensional, allowing for multiple and selective combinations of participative, normative and identity dimensions across national contexts. While Turks and Moroccans share with Belgians a social contract type of citizenship in Belgium, they also adhere to a communal type of long distance citizenship in Turkey and Morocco which centres on a close linkage of national and religious attachments. We conclude that multiplicity is a key feature of minority perspectives on citizenship, so that active participation in the national context of residence is complemented by enduring ethnoreligious identification in the national context of origin.
ISSN: 1468-7968
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Social and Cultural Psychology
Centre for Sociological Research
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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