(C2-15) Between Desire and Reality: Cultural and Social Integration in the Self-Image of Muslims of Turkish Origin in Germany

The increasing pluralisation of the religious in Germany raises the question as to the overarching norms of social cohesion and as to the integration of sections of the population that differ culturally and religiously from the majority society, not only on the political and legal, but also on a social level. In order to capture this level, approaches, attitudes, standards of evaluation and interpretive patterns need to be looked at, as legal and political regulations can only take effect to the extent which they meet with support in society and are often framed in consideration of existing social lines of tension and conflict. Due to the fact that these lines of tension frequently run between the majority society and religious or ethnic minorities, it is not sufficient to understand the respective orientations of the majority society’s members only. Instead, it is advisable to analyse carefully the attitudes, situational interpretations, wishes and dislikes of minorities. The project aims to pursue these questions on the basis of a representative social survey among Turkish Muslims in Germany.

The questions guiding research are, among others:

  • What do Muslims themselves understand by successful integration?
  • How do they envisage integration into society?
  • Is it rather the aspiration to substantial assimilation, to “self-confident” integration while maintaining one’s own cultural identity that is predominant, or can, on the contrary, a tendency toward segregation or isolation be detected?
  • What experiences of integration or disintegration do the Muslim interviewees relate?
  • How integrated do they judge themselves to be (culturally, verbally, politically, in relation to the labour market etc.)?
  • What relationship do experiences with the Christian (or secular) majority society have to one’s own religious identity, to the identification with the national background, or to the affiliation with a particular local and social environment? What attitudes do Muslims adopt as regards the normative fundamentals of Western democracy and the principles of liberty and equality, of social justice, of rule of law, of the separation of religion and politics, etc.?
  • What attitudes can be identified as regards the role of religion in society (relationship of religion and state, religion and law, religion and science, or religion and education)?
  • What orientations exist in view of family order and the order of the sexes (women’s status, forms of family, rearing of child and the like)?

The Project is part of interconnecting platform E Differentiation and De-Differentiation and coordinated project group Dealing with religious diversity.