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Beyond the Ethnic-Civic Dichotomy: Cultural Citizenship as a New Way of Excluding Immigrants



In European Union (EU) countries, public debates about immigrants and citizenship are increasingly framed in cultural terms. Yet, there is no agreement within the citizenship literature on whether a cultural citizenship representation can be distinguished from the more established ethnic and civic representations and on how its measures relate to anti-immigrant attitudes. The present study tested measures of citizenship representations among high school students (N = 1476) in six EU countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Sweden). Factor analyses favored a three-factor model of citizenship representations (i.e., ethnic, cultural, and civic factors), which showed partial metric invariance. Across countries, ethnic and cultural scales correlated positively with each other and negatively with the civic scale. Moreover, ethnic and cultural scales related positively and the civic scale negatively to anti-immigrant attitudes. However, when analyzed simultaneously, relations of the ethnic scale with anti-immigrant attitudes were no longer significant, while those of the cultural and civic scales proved to be robust. Implications of these findings are discussed.