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The multidimensionality of national belonging: Patterns and implications for immigrants’ naturalisation intentions

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JournalSocial Science Research
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Feb 2022
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 6 Jun 2022
DatePublished - Aug 2022
Volume106
Number of pages16
Early online date6/06/22
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Drawing on the Trajectories and Origins Survey, we investigate how national sense of belonging is associated with immigrants' intention to naturalise in France. We exploit rich information about subjective national identity, recognition by others, and perceived discrimination to build a multidimensional construct of belonging using a latent class model. We show that immigrants' sense of belonging articulates in five different ways, ranging from full belonging to exclusion. We then explore how different belonging types are related to naturalisation intentions. Naturalisation intentions are highest among those who feel they fully belong, and lowest among those who feel fully excluded. Yet, migrants whose strong sense of national belonging is undermined by the absence of recognition by others and by the experience of racism and discrimination are also highly motivated to naturalise. In light of these findings we reflect on the different ways in which national sense of belonging may contribute to immigrants’ intention to naturalise.

    Research areas

  • Citizenship, National belonging, Latent class

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