We studied the acculturation processes of Syrian refugees in the Netherlands, based on semi-structured in-depth interviews. The study aims to investigate how Syrian refugees perceive the cultural distance caused by the differences and boundaries between Syrian and Dutch culture; how they cope with the boundaries and prejudice that they perceive; and which acculturation orientations they prefer. The research builds mainly on the framework of Berry’s acculturation model. Religion emerges as a prominent issue in the acculturation process and is found to impact acculturation as it is perceived to be a cause of cultural distance, a salient social identity, a bright boundary and a source of prejudice in the host country. Our findings suggest that refugees’ religious identity strongly influences their coping strategies and preferred acculturation orientations. Refugees with low/no religious affiliation were more in favour of an assimilation orientation whereas refugees with strong religious identity preferred an integration orientation.
Safak, A., Kunuroglu, F. K., van de Vijver, F., & Yagmur, K. (2020). Acculturation of Syrian refugees in the Netherlands: Religion as social identity and boundary marker. Journal of Refugee Studies, 1. https://doi.org/10.1093/jrs/feaa020