This article explores the complex relation between civic identity, individual identification
and citizenship. An in-depth analysis of the life and integration process of three newcomers
to the small Brabant town of Lier makes clear how formal statutes and categories
such as citizenship might influence the structural integration, but could at the same time
be only loosely connected to informal identifications. Although citizenship was neither
the proof of nor the condition for an alliance with the town, it nevertheless had a meaning.
Establishing temporary trust, it furthered social interaction, which was the breeding
ground of identity formation. This identity formation was above all a dynamic and neverending
process in which time played a crucial but equivocal role.