The perceived role of Islamic religiosity in minorities educational success in Belgium : a cure or curse?

Lore Van Praag, Orhan Agirdag, Peter AJ Stevens, Mieke Van Houtte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In Western Europe, Islam is largely perceived as a barrier to the integration of immigrant minorities into the mainstream and as a hindrance to educational success. However, little is known about the perceived role of Islamic religiosity (beliefs, commitments, behaviors and networks) with respect to educational success. In-depth interviews were carried out with Flemish high-school students (N = 129) (northern part of Belgium) in three secondary schools. Our data indicate that most respondents do not spontaneously mention religiosity as an important factor with respect to educational achievement. However, when asked directly, a significant group of Muslim students mention the memorizing of prayers as a transferable skill, the protective aspects of drug and alcohol prohibition, and the religious friends networks as a resource for fostering the feelings of school belonging. Nevertheless, some students also mention possible negative consequences due to discrimination, for example for wearing a headscarf.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-546
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Compass
Volume63
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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