What does it take to become “one of us?” Redefining ethnic-civic citizenship using markers of everyday nationhood

Chan Hoong Leong, Adam Komisarof, Justine Dandy, Inga Jasinskaja-Lahti, Saba Safdar, Katja Hanke, Eugene Teng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we examined what are the markers of immigrant naturalisation as seen from the perspectives of recipient nationals. Social markers are perceptual signposts that receiving nationals use in deciding whether a non-native born is a member of the destination country. In short, what should immigrants do in order to be accepted by receiving nationals as “one of us”. Cross national data on 20 indicators of “everyday nationhood” were collected from five countries – Singapore, Japan, Australia, Finland, and Canada. The markers highlight common dispositions, activities, or social norms that are associated with citizenship. Exploratory factor analysis in each sample consistently demonstrated a two-factor structure model that supports the contemporary ethnic-civic distinction, but the markers that make up each of the two dimensions vary between countries. No metric equivalence was found, and that the markers have culture-specific meanings. The framework offers a novel insight to intercultural relations. The results suggest that adaptation and social inclusion need to consider the norms and values practised in the recipient society, and how immigration may redefine intergroup boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept


  • Acculturation
  • Identity
  • Inclusion
  • Nationalism
  • Social markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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