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School composition and multiple ethnic identities of migrant-origin adolescents in the Netherlands

Veerman, Gert-Jan and Platt, Lucinda ORCID: 0000-0002-8251-6400 (2021) School composition and multiple ethnic identities of migrant-origin adolescents in the Netherlands. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 44 (16). 106 - 125. ISSN 0141-9870

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01419870.2021.1887503


Ethnic identity is central to many contemporary discussions of belonging and assimilation of migrant-origin youth. Studies typically focus on a single minority identity. Identity theory implies, however, that individuals may hold multiple ethnic identities, or none, and these may find expression to a greater or less extent depending on context. Using a nationally representative, longitudinal study of Dutch teenagers, we investigate the role of classroom ethnic composition in shaping multiple ethnic identity expression. Framing identity choices as a relational process, we show that the number of ethnic identities that children with a migrant-origin background choose is greater for those students who are exposed to a more ethnically diverse context, while less diverse classrooms foster ethnic identification with no or fewer minority groups. Classification of migrant-origin students with a single (minority) ethnicity may thus be an oversimplification of ethnic identity, even for those from a single country of origin.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 16:18
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 17:30

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