Immigrant generation, religiosity and civic engagement in Britain

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2014


Immigrant integration appears to be generational in the USA, and further facilitated by religious involvement. We examine whether similar patterns exist in Britain. We find evidence for secularization across ethnic minority groups, measured by private religious practice and religious salience. Communal religious practice appears robust to generational decline. Ethnic minority members of the second generation exhibit lower social trust; for the 1.5 generation, being more religious is associated with lower trust. However, members of the 1.5 and second generation are more civically involved than the first and religiosity further increases civic involvement. While anecdotal accounts suggest that religiosity has a particularly dissociative effect on the second generation, we find no evidence for this. In sum, successive generations of ethnic minority respondents appear to be secularizing; successive generations are more civically involved than the arriving generation, although less trusting; and immigrant religiosity promotes civic integration.

Published in

Ethnic and Racial Studies

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 37 , p.99 -119





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