The social and political integration of Muslim immigrants into Western societies is among the most pressing problems of today. Research documents how immigrant communities are increasingly under pressure to assimilate to their “host” societies in the face of significant discrimination. In this article, we bring together two literatures—that on immigrants and that on social movement participation—to explore whether Muslim immigrants respond to their societal situation by engaging in collective political action.

Although neither literature has given much attention to immigrant collective action, they do provide predictive leverage relative to the influence of grievances, efficacy, identity, emotions, and embeddedness in civil society networks. Our analyses are comprised of three separate but identical studies: a study of Turkish (N = 126) and Moroccan immigrants (N = 80) in the Netherlands and a study of Turkish immigrants (N = 100) in New York. Results suggest that social psychological mechanisms known to affect native citizens’ collective action function similarly for immigrants to a great extent, although certain immigrant patterns are indeed unique.

Download the paper: Klandermans, B., Van der Toorn, J. & Van Stekelenburg, J. (2008). Embeddedness and identity: How immigrants turn grievances into action. American Sociological Review, 73, 992-1012.