English title: The effect of contextual factors on the association between different forms of prejudice: a cross-national approach on generalized prejudice

Author(s): Cecil Meeusen - Anna Kern -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2014


Traditional prejudice research departs from the theoretical expectation that specific types of prejudice targeting different outgroups are strongly correlated and can be summarized in a ‘general prejudice’ factor. The assumption is that different forms of prejudice have a mutual origin and can be triggered by the same factors. In this paper, we strive to answer two research questions: (1) do different types of prejudice have the same causes, and (2) how can the structure of prejudice, i.e. the correlation between different types – be explained. We focus on country-level factors – economic and cultural – as these are important covariates of prejudice and are not yet included in the theory on generalized prejudice. Data from the European Social Survey are used to analyze the research questions. Results show that different types of prejudice not necessarily have the same causes and that contextual factors explain target-specific prejudices rather than the common core of generalized prejudice. Further, the structure of prejudice is explained by the dominant religion in a country and a country’s dominant view with regard to hierarchy vs. egalitarianism. Contrary to the expectations of the groups threat theory, the economic situation of a country has only a very limited impact on prejudice.

Conference name: Annual APSA Meeting - Washington DC - 27-31 August 2014

Location: Washington DC

Start date: Aug 27, 2014

Type: Paper

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