Seminars & Events

7 March 2016
15:15 - 17:00
Ruppert-building, room Paars (Purple)

Seminar: Lars Leszczensky – University of Mannheim

Religiosity and Friendship Choices of Christian, Muslim, and Non-Religious Adolescents in Germany


In contemporary Western Europe, both scholars and the broader public fiercely debate the consequences of a rising share of Muslim population for societal coexistence. Yet we know surprisingly little about how religion and religiosity shape intergroup friendships. Focusing on adolescents’ friendship networks, we study two potentially relevant processes. On the one hand, youths may generally tend to befriend peers of the same religion, and this religious homophily should be more pronounced for those who are highly religious. On the other hand, religion and religiosity may also prevent students from befriending members of the other religious group, which again might depend on individual religiosity. For example, non-religious students may dislike befriending highly religious peers, and highly religious Christian and Muslim students may in turn tend to avoid befriending religious outgroup members.

We examine how religion and religiosity affect youths’ friendship choices by applying sto-chastic actor-oriented models to three waves of German network panel. We find that Muslim students prefer befriending same-religious peers, and that this tendency is indeed more pro-nounced for highly religious Muslims. Irrespective of individual religiosity, by contrast, Christian students show no tendency of religious homophily. However, we do find evidence that Muslim and Christian students avoid highly religious outgroup friends. Non-religious students also avoid befriending highly religious Muslims.

Lars Leszczensky & Sebastian Pink


leszczensky_1Lars Leszczensky

Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES)
University of Mannheim