Exploring variation in the Moroccan-Dutch collective narrative: An intersectional approach

J.A. Prins, F. Polletta, J. van Stekelenburg, P.G. Klandermans

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Collective identities are constructed and negotiated in interaction. The dynamics of collective identity construction in the interactions of group members, however, remain understudied. Taking into consideration public discourses of ethnicity and religion in the Netherlands, in this article we explore the uses of narrative in intragroup identity construction among Moroccan-Dutch young adults. In line with theories of intersectionality, we expected intragroup identity construction to be influenced by the specific location of participants in a matrix of intersecting identity categories. Narratives were elicited in focus groups that varied by gender and by the educational level of the participants. We compared the content and import of stories in each group. We found that participants across groups told similar stories in which they referred to the treatment of their group at a societal level. However, we also found that the intersection of ethnicity, gender, and level of educational attainment influenced the way our participants narrated their everyday experiences, and, in particular, their relations with native Dutch neighbors, fellow students, and coworkers. An intersectional analysis shows how, faced with negative stereotypes regarding their ethnic and religious background, Moroccan-Dutch young adults variously accept, reject, and act in relation to those stereotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date24 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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