Social mobility allowing for ethnic identification: Reassertion of ethnicity among Moroccan and Turkish Dutch

M.W. Slootman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The emergence of middle‐classes that articulate their ethnic distinctiveness leads to discomfort and bewilderment in many societies. This rejection arises from assimilationist demands and straight‐line integration assumptions which dominate the integration discourse. Relying on social‐psychological theories, this mixed‐methods study explores the ethnic identification of university‐educated second‐generation Moroccan and Turkish Dutch. The findings once more underscore that ethnic and national identifications are not mutually exclusive, nor are ethnic identifications mere acts of ethnic retention. The findings suggest that social mobility shapes processes of ethnic identification in particular ways, in the sense that the belonging and self‐esteem that come with achieving an advanced socio‐economic status allow for (and even encourage) assertion of the ethnic‐minority identity; an ethnic identity that is partially reinvented. The insights of this study can help nuance the increasingly polarizing and exclusionary integration debates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-139
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Migration
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018


I am grateful to various people for the attentive reading of previous versions of this text and for their constructive suggestions. These people include Dr. Sébastien Chauvin, Dr. Saskia Bonjour, and professors Maurice Crul, Jan Willem Duyvendak and Jan Rath, and the anonymous reviewers. The research project was funded by the AISSR (University of Amsterdam), Platform 31, the municipalities of Almere, Amsterdam, Delft, Nijmegen, The Hague and Utrecht, and housing association Mitros.

FundersFunder number
Hague and Utrecht
housing association Mitros
Universiteit van Amsterdam


    • Ethnicity
    • Identity
    • social mobility


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