Intergroup contexts of classrooms have an influence on mainstream and ethnic belonging of youth of immigrant descent. Based on the normative reference group theory, a higher level of ethic identification is expected in classrooms with a higher proportion of co-ethnic youth and, based on constrict theory, a lower level of mainstream identification is expected in ethnically more diverse classrooms. However, these relations between ethnic composition and cultural belonging may differ between countries due to differences in multicultural policies and colonial histories. Using two waves of data from CILS4EU survey, we conduct a cross-national comparison of the relation between intergroup contexts of classrooms and cultural belonging. The results imply that both theories cannot be generalized across national contexts, and other factors vary as well across countries. Therefore, research and policy in this area should pay more attention to the national context in terms of policies and histories.
Ethnic and Racial Studies