No trade-off between parent choice and democratic citizenship: a comparison of 9th grade pupils in Danish Muslim and state schools

Per Mouritsen*, Nanna Vestergaard Ahrensberg, Kristian Kriegbaum Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The public funding or even toleration of religious minority schools, particularly Muslim faith schools, is controversial in West European countries. Political theorists often posit that parents’ right to choose these schools conflicts with the equally or more important societal concerns with child autonomy and civic integration or education to liberal-democratic citizenship. Yet, few empirical studies have addressed the issue and findings are mixed. Using unique survey and administrative data on ninth grade pupils in Danish Muslim schools compared to Muslims in state schools, the study finds no indication of lower levels of civic integration in terms of national belonging, social trust and outgroup prejudice, or liberal democratic orientation, indeed Muslim schools seem to do a little better. Different explanations for this are possible, and the findings may not be generalizable to other national contexts, but they do cast some doubt on present political hostility towards the schools.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume44
Issue1
Pages (from-to)164-182
Number of pages19
ISSN0142-5692
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Denmark
  • Muslim schools
  • citizenship
  • faith schools
  • integration

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