Navigating new gender roles: impacts of cultural origins, context of settlement, and religious beliefs on gender attitudes among immigrant origin youth across five European countries
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies | 2023
Gender roles have become a symbol of cultural division between Western Europe and its growing immigrant population. To what extent immigrants and their children from more gender-conservative backgrounds will adopt more egalitarian attitudes has thus become a key question. However, different host countries offer distinct contexts of reception regarding the institutional support for gender equality, and the diverse compositions of immigrant populations across Europe pose challenges to simultaneously control the influences of cultural origins and settlement contexts. We overcome these challenges by comparing immigrant youth living in five different European countries, originating from countries with comparable levels of gender inequality, as assessed by three distinct global gender inequality indices. Analysing CILS4EU and CILS-NOR data, we found that the extent of gender inequality in parental countries of origin exerts a lasting impact on gender attitudes among immigrant-origin youth. Additionally, our findings showed that religion, particularly among Muslims, plays a role in preservation of conservative attitudes. Nevertheless, immigrant origin youth to a large extent adapt their perspectives to the context of reception, and even the most conservative groups of immigrant adolescents living in Scandinavia have more gender-egalitarian beliefs than immigrants – and to some extent natives – in continental Europe.