- Essays on Immigration, Religion, & Assimilation in Western Europe
Societal debates surrounding the presence of large Muslim populations have established religion as a principal axis of social differentiation in Western Europe. Are Muslim immigrants and their children progressively reaching social parity with natives? In my dissertation, I use existing survey data as well as ethnographic fieldwork to examine the key structural and cultural aspects of Muslim immigrants’ incorporation - with a special focus on France. I document the emergence of a middle-class subgroup, yet I find religiosity to be resilient to the normative influence of the secular context of reception. I instead describe a circular dynamic of cultural retention from immigrants and discrimination from natives, which in turn prompts reactive religiosity from immigrants. The results of this research question the self-evident links between socioeconomic and cultural incorporation often assumed in immigration research.