My tongue — my passport

The success of right populist parties across Europe, Pexit, the attempt by Donald trump to separate the wall from Mexico — one way or another all these high-profile political events inspired by the rejection of immigration and related concerns, real or perceived as real. Anyway, this rejection is widespread among much of the population of the Western States.

Someone to take we are ready, someone- push back: in the first place — those who we absolutely do not like and can become a “real” German, British, American. National identity — the question, in politics painted right populist rhetoric, but in sociology, becoming at least the subject of serious research. The independent experts of the American research center Pew research set out to find out what the population of Western countries are ready to assume their?

A representative survey was carried out amid a growing immigration crisis in 14 States. In the study, pollsters asked more than 14 thousand people who had the opportunity to speak on the topic of national identity from the point of view of several aspects of the place of birth, language proficiency of the country of residence, attitude to local customs and traditions, and religious affiliation.

As it turned out, the place of birth plays a lesser role in the perception of “friend or foe”. Thus, only 13 percent of German citizens believe that it is important to be born in Germany to be a “real” German. Lower among European countries, this figure only in Sweden is 8 percent higher — almost everywhere: from the Netherlands (16%), France (25%), the UK (32%) and Spain (34%) to Poland with Italy (42%), Greece (50%), and Hungary, 52 percent of the population believe that we need to be born in the country to be a real Hungarian. This view is shared by on average 33% of Europeans and 32 percent of Americans, 21 percent of Canadians, 13 percent of Australians and half of Japan’s population. The higher the educational level of respondents — the less they see the relationship between place of birth and the opportunity to belong to the “titular nation”.

The key, from the point of view of national identity, the respondents mainly believe language proficiency: 77 percent of Europeans and 70 percent of Americans consider this factor as the most important from the perspective of the right to claim the citizenship of their country of residence. Language proficiency is especially important to the Dutch (84 percent), less than others — Italians (59%), in Germany the need of knowledge of German is considered a very significant 79 percent of those surveyed by Pew Research, only two percent of the population believe that it is not important.

The desire and ability to share local values, culture, traditions, customs of the country of residence for decades considered extremely important for belonging to a “real” Germans, French or Britons: as shown in the survey results, and this factor is not so important from the point of view of many Europeans. Only 48 per cent of us see the relationship between national identity and local culture, and spread across the continent is quite large: this relationship is important for 68 percent of Greeks and 66 percent of the Hungarians, but only 29 percent of Germans and 26 per cent of the Swedes.

The older the respondents the more often they hold right-wing political views, the more they draw Parallels between belonging to “its” and separation of national values and habits.

Finally, the religious question is the least significant from the point of view of national identity and attitudes to it in Europe, America or Australia. Only one out of every fifteen of the respondents believes that it is important to be a Christian in order to be considered “his”. In the US, this relationship is particularly strong: 32 percent of Americans are willing to recognize the “real Americans” only Christians. In Germany, only 11 percent of the population pay attention to faith, Greece — 54% unable to recognize the “real” Greek only the Christian, in France, the UK, Poland, Italy, Hungary, this figure ranges from 21 to 40 percent. It is not surprising that more inclined to close their eyes to the religious affiliation of young, unbelievers, followers of left-wing political traditions.

Summing up, it should be noted that the Germans reacted to the given sociologists questions with true German rationality and moderation. Residents of Germany’s most important is that the newcomers could speak the same language with us, and issues of culture, religion and place of birth we give is not nearly as important as many of our European neighbours.