Second Generation Immigrants Attitudes and Behavior
under Multiculturalist Policies
Irene Bloemraad
University of California, Berkeley
[email protected]
Matthew Wright
American University
[email protected]
Prepared for IMR 50th Anniversary Symposium. Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Attacking “Multiculturalism” has become cliché…
 MC = Policies designed to recognize and promote cultural
diversity in society
 Multiculturalism is now a dirty word, associated with the failure
of immigrants to sufficiently integrate to their host societies
either socially or economically
 European leaders cannot distance themselves from it fast enough
 Both U.N. and Council of Europe proclaim that it has failed as a
political approach to diversity
 In academic literature, many theoretical and empirical challenges
to MC as well:
 Undermines national allegiance (Miller, Joppke)
 Undermines linguistic and economic integration (Koopmans)
 Undermines “inclusive” definitions of national identity in native public
opinion (Me)
The Flip…
 But, many proponents of MC argue just the opposite: cultural
recognition promotes immigrant incorporation by putting
cultural minorities on a plane of equality with the mainstream
(e.g. Bloemraad, Kesler & Bloemraad, etc…)
 Much of the “MC=bad” literature…
 Focuses on the mainstream. It is possible that MC can irritate the
masses and still be good for immigrants.
 Is limited to socio-economic rather that socio-cultural integration.
 Is based on case studies and small-n country comparisons.
 Is based on the first generation, ignores “parallel lives” argument
 Here, we want to extend our previous work (Wright &
Bloemraad 2012) to the 2nd Generation
 Do 2nd generation immigrants feel more or less “included” in
national community in “multicultural” societies?
Data and Measures
 We analyze data from 6 pooled waves of ESS (2002-2012), and, as a
supplement, compare Canada and the U.S. directly using several
national surveys:
 U.S.: “Social Capital Benchmark” (2006)
 Canada: “Equality, Security, Community (2000, 2003) and “Ethnic
Diversity Survey” (2002)
 Outcomes of interest (in all cases score low=“disaffected” to
 Generalized trust
 Perceived discrimination
 Salience of ethnic and national identities
 Political trust
 “Politicians care” and satisfaction with national government
 Political interest and participation
 All analyses control for ind.-level socio-economic status (age,
education, unemployment), gender, ethnic “minority” status, and
citizenship measures (citizenship and length of residence).
Basic Question 1: Have MCP Policies Actually
Data source: Banting and Kymlicka (2013).
Basic Question 2: How Does MCP Relate to Other Relevant
Data sources: MCP index from Banting and Kymlicka (2013), CIVIX from
Goodman (2012b). Only countries scored on both measures are included.
Analytical Approach for Individual-Level Attitudes…
 In order to assess policy effects controlling for individual-level
immigrant characteristics, we examine predicted scores
obtained from within regime-category regressions and based
on 1st and 2nd generation pooled sample.
 Within this basic framework, we explore both absolute
differences across regime, and differences in gaps between
immigrants (1st or 2nd gen) 3rd Gen+ across regime.
 Additional leverage is provided by direct comparison of the
U.S. and Canada
 Both score highly on citizenship liberalization
 However, they are different in terms of MC, both ideologically and,
more importantly for our purposes here, politically.
Results: National and Ethnic Identity, CA & US
Data sources: U.S. Social Capital Benchmark (2006), Merged ECS (2000/2003).
Results: Generalized Trust, by Immigrant Generation in
Europe, ESS 2000-2012
Results: Political Trust, by Immigrant Generation in Europe, ESS
Results: Trust in National Government, by Immigrant
Generation in the United States and Canada
Conclusions and Next Steps…
 All in all, however political elites and mainstream populations
feel about multiculturalism, MC does not appear to promote
socio-political disaffection among immigrants.
 But, there isn’t much downside either among the first
generation, whether we consider levels or gaps/3rd Gen+.
 The results in U.S.-Canada comparisons are unambiguous:
regardless of specification, Canadian immigrants always score
as more “integrated” than U.S. immigrants, despite the fact
that they are also place substantially more emphasis on their
 Persists into the second generation
 Questions remain, however:
 Sampling quality/bias?
 Canadian exceptionalism?

`Utter Failure` or Unity out of Diversity?