Does social embeddedness influence union formation differences among the Turkish and Moroccan second generation in the Netherlands?

Doreen Huschek, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Helga A.G. de Valk, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Aart C. Liefbroer, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

This paper studies the extent to which union formation decisions of second generation Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands are influenced by their contacts with native Dutch. This is important as we know much about the influence of the family on union formation choices, but relatively little about the influence of other social actors. In addition, studying the influence of social contacts with native people on union formation decisions of second generation Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands is particularly interesting, as the views of these native Dutch on union formation can be expected to differ quite substantially from those of the family. Two hypotheses are tested. First, it is hypothesized that second generation Turks and Moroccans who are strongly socially embedded into Dutch society will resemble native young adults in their union formation behaviour to a larger extent than second generation Turks and Moroccans who are not so strongly socially embedded in Dutch society. In addition, we make a distinction between strong (family, friends) and weak (acquaintances, institutions) social ties, and hypothesize that union formation resemblance is particularly strong if second generation Turks and Moroccans have strong ties to Dutch society. Previous research often studied different aspects of union formation separately. In this paper we analyze four interrelated aspects of union formation. We include timing of union formation, type of union (marriage/cohabitation), type of partner (first/second generation) and level of homogamy between partners. This allows for a more full coverage of union formation decisions and the importance of social embeddedness for each of them. We will use data from “The integration of the European second generation” (TIES) survey (2007) for the Netherlands. We include the total sample of 1,500 young adults aged 18-35 who are equally distributed over the second generation Turks and Moroccans and a native comparison group.

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Presented in Session 32: Mixed-ethnic unions in Europe and second generation union formation