English title: Economic forces and anti-immigrant attitudes in Western Europe: a paradox in search of an explanation

Author(s): Michael O'Connell -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2005


Greater economic hardship is widely conceived as conducive to higher levels of majority hostility towards minority groups. Research in the classical socialpsychological tradition as well as data on political trends support such a view. However, more recent survey and experimental findings cast doubt on the economic deprivation model of out-group hostility. O’Connell examines responses to sections of the European Social Survey that suggest that economic deprivation is still linked to out-group hostility, and argues that this position is contradicted by recent trends in anti-immigrant politics: electoral support for far-right parties has been more prevalent in wealthier and more materially secure societies than in poorer ones. He offers an explanation for this apparent paradox, suggesting that increased economic security has both direct and indirect effects on a society, and that these effects run counter to each other. As economic scarcity decreases, concerns over economic rivalry decline but new concerns related to integration emerge, particularly as the society becomes more attractive to migrants.

Volume: 39

Issue: 1

From page no: 60

To page no: 74

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1080/00313220500045287

Journal: Patterns of Prejudice

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