Cultural Attitudes of Immigrants and
Assimilation or Persistent Dissimilarity?
DR. WILFRED UUNK - TILBURG
Classical immigrant groups in the Netherlands from Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean origin catch up with the indigenous Dutch in the socio-economic domain. The central question of this paper is whether these immigrant groups also integrate in the cultural domain, in specific whether the cultural attitudes of immigrants modernize and converge to the attitudes of the indigenous population. I confront two competing theoretical perspectives on acculturation, assimilation theory and cultural identity theory. Analyses of representative survey data for the Netherlands from 1998 lend most credit to the assimilation perspective. Although immigrants hold more traditional cultural attitudes than the native Dutch, younger immigrants appear to be more modern than older immigrants. The increasingly modern attitudes can be attributed to changes in socio-structural composition of immigrant groups, notably to educational expansion.