International Society of Political Psychology

Conference Abstracts

The Role of Dual Identity in the Politicization of Migrants: Promise or Liability?

Bernd Simon, University of Kiel; Frank Reichert, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Institut für Psychologie; Olga Grabow, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel,

Conference: ISPP 2011
Affiliation: University of Kiel
Research Area: Social inequality and social change

Collective mobilization of migrants is of high importance in modern nation-states. A growing body of social psychological research suggests that politicized collective identity operates as a unique force of political mobilization, in addition to and largely independent of other determinants of political action. In the presentation, we will report on a longitudinal field study conducted with highly educated migrants in Germany (i.e., university students with Turkish or Russian migration background). Our general focus is on the role of collective identity in politicization and political radicalization, and particularly on dual identity as it derives from identification with both the aggrieved minority ingroup (i.e., the migrant group) and the super-ordinate social entity which defines the political arena (i.e., the society of residence). For this purpose, we measured various indices of political engagement as well as several forms of collective identification. Drawing on multivariate data analyses we will present and discuss a number of novel findings concerning the relationship between dual identification and (normative) politicization as well as (non-normative) radicalization. First, we will demonstrate moderating influences as to when dual identification is likely to hinder rather than foster political engagement. Subsequently, we will elaborate on the issue of identity conflict and its implication for radicalization. Our data suggest that, when identification with the minority ingroup and identification with the society of residence are perceived to be incompatible, dual identity may become a liability with radicalizing consequences. Finally, the wider implications of dual identity – as promise or liability – for social integration will be discussed.