Feeling German: The impact of education on immigrants’ national identification

  • Romana CarejaEmail author
  • Alexander Schmidt-Catran


In this study, we investigate the role of education in immigrants’ identification with the host society. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and latent growth curve mediation models, we test the immigration paradox hypothesis (de Vroome et al. 2011), which claims that highly educated immigrants identify less with the host society, due to their higher sensitivity to discriminatory experiences. While previous research found support for this hypothesis based on cross-sectional data, our analysis based on longitudinal data casts doubt on the validity of the immigration paradox argument.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alba, R., and V. Nee. 1997. Rethinking assimilation theory for a new era of immigration. International Migration Review 31(4):826-874.Google Scholar
  2. Ashmore, R., K. Deaux, and T. McLaughlin-Volpe. 2004. An organizing framework for collective identity: Articulation and significance of multidimensionality. Psychological Bulletin 130:80-114.Google Scholar
  3. Badea, C., J. Jetten, A. Iyer, and A. Er-Rafiy. 2011. Negotiating dual identities: The impact of group-based rejection on identification and acculturation. European Journal of Social Psychology 41:586-595.Google Scholar
  4. Bollen, K.A., and P.J. Curran. 2006. Latent curve models. A structural equation perspective. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Bourhis, R.Y., L.C. Moise, S. Perreault, and S. Senécal. 1997. Towards an interactive acculturation model: A social psychological approach. International Journal of Psychology 32:369-386.Google Scholar
  6. Crul, M., and H. Vermeulen. 2003. The second generation in Europe. International Migration Review 37(4):965-986.Google Scholar
  7. De Vroome. T., M. Coenders, F. van Tubergen, and M. Verkuyten. 2011. Economic participation and national self-identification of refugees in the Netherlands. International Migration Review 45(3):615-638.Google Scholar
  8. De Vroome, T., B. Martinovic, and M. Verkuyten. 2014a. The integration paradox: Level of education and immigrants’ attitudes towards natives and the host society. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 20(2):166-175.Google Scholar
  9. De Vroome, T., M. Verkuyten, and B. Martinovic. 2014b. Host national identification of immigrants in the Netherlands. International Migration Review 48(1):76-102.Google Scholar
  10. Dinesen, P.T., and M. Hooghe. 2010. When in Rome, do as the Romans do: The acculturation of generalized trust among immigrants in Western Europe. International Migration Review 44(3):697-727.Google Scholar
  11. Fokkema, T., and H. de Haas. 2015. Pre- and post-migration determinants of socio-cultural integration of African immigrants in Italy and Spain. International Migration 53(6):3-26.Google Scholar
  12. Jasinskaja-Lahti, I., K. Liebkind, and E. Solheim. 2009. To identify or not to identify? National disidentification as an alternative reaction to perceived ethnic discrimination. Applied Psychology: An International Review 58(1):105-128.Google Scholar
  13. Leszczensky, L. 2013. Do national identification and interethnic friendships affect one another? A longitudinal test with adolescents of Turkish origin in Germany. Social Science Research 42:775-788.Google Scholar
  14. Martinovic, B., and M. Vrekuyten. 2012. Host national and religious identification among Turkish Muslims in Western Europe: The role of ingroup norms, perceived discrimination and value incompatibility. European Journal of Social Psychology, Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 42:893-903.Google Scholar
  15. Menz, G., and A. Caviedes (eds). 2010. Labour migration in Europe. Palgrave.Google Scholar
  16. Ono, M. 2002. Assimilation, ethnic competition, and ethnic identities of US.-born persons of Mexican origin. International Migration Review 36(3):726-745.Google Scholar
  17. Portes, A., and M. Zhou. 1993. The new second generation: Segmented assimilation and its variants. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 530:74-96.Google Scholar
  18. Reeskens, T., and M. Wright. 2014. Host-country patriotism among European immigrants: A comparative study of its individual and societal roots. Ethnic and Racial Studies 37(14): 2493-2511.Google Scholar
  19. Röder, A., and P. Mühlau. 2011. Discrimination, exclusion and immigrants’ confidence in public institutions in Europe. European Societies 13(4):535-557.Google Scholar
  20. Röder, A., and P. Mühlau. 2012. Low expectations or different evaluations: What explains immigrants’ high levels of trust in host-country institutions? Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38(5):777-792.Google Scholar
  21. Röder, A., and P. Mühlau. 2014. Are they acculturating? Europe’s immigrants and gender egalitarianism. Social Forces 92(3):899-928.Google Scholar
  22. Rumbaut, R. 2004. Ages, life stages, and generational cohorts: Decomposing the immigrant first and second generations in the United States. International Migration Review 38(3):1160-1205.Google Scholar
  23. Schmidt-Catran, A., and R. Careja. 2017. Institutions, culture and migrants’ preference for state-provided welfare. Longitudinal evidence from Germany. Journal of European Social Policy 27(2):197-212.Google Scholar
  24. Van Doorn, M., P. Scheepers, and J. Dagevos. 2013. Explaining the integration paradox among small immigrant groups in the Netherlands. International Migration and Integration 14:381-400.Google Scholar
  25. von Soest, T., and K.A. Hagtvet. 2011. Mediation analysis in a latent growth curve modeling framework. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 18(2):289-314.Google Scholar
  26. Verkuyten, M. 2005. The Social Psychology of Ethnic Identity. Hove: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  27. Verkuyten, M., and A. Yildiz. 2007. National (dis)identification and ethnic and religious identity: A study among Turkish-Dutch Muslims. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 33:1448-1462.Google Scholar
  28. Verkuyten, M., and B. Martinovic. 2012. Immigrants’ national identification: Meanings, determinants, and consequences. Social Issues and Policy Review 6(1):82-112.Google Scholar
  29. Wiley, S., D. Lawrence, J. Figueroa, and R. Percontino. 2013. Rejection-(dis)identification and ethnic political engagement among first-generation Latino immigrants to the United States. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology 19(3):310-319.Google Scholar
  30. Zimmermann, L., K. Zimmermann, and A. Constant. 2007. Ethnic self-identification of first-generation immigrants. International Migration Review 41:769-781.Google Scholar
  31. Zhou, M. 1997. Segmented assimilation: Issues, controversies, and recent research on the new second generation. International Migration Review 31(4): 975-1008.Google Scholar
  32. Walters, D., K. Phythian, and P. Anisef. 2007. The acculturation of Canadian immigrants: Determinants of ethnic identification with the host society. Canadian Review of Sociology/Revue Canadienne de Sociologie 44(1):37-64.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.OdenseDänemark
  2. 2.KölnDeutschland

Personalised recommendations