English title: Facing Cultural Diversity: Anti-Immigrant Attitudes in Europe

Author(s): Nicole Fasel - Eva G. T. Green - Oriane Sarrasin -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2013


Negative attitudes toward immigrants are widespread in Western societies, and research has repeatedly attempted to explain such attitudes with the presence of cultural diversity arising from a high number of immigrants. Highlighting how political psychology integrates individual and contextual levels of explanation, the present paper aims to overview research that reaches beyond this narrow focus of diversity (i.e., immigrant proportion) to understand anti-immigrant attitudes in culturally diverse societies. First, we present research that reconciles two opposing intergroup mechanisms—contact and threat—both triggered by a high proportion of immigrants. Second, emphasis is placed on ideological climates, a novel contextual antecedent of anti-immigrant attitudes understood as collectively shared norms and values permeating all spheres of social life. Ideological climates influence anti-immigrant attitudes beyond individual characteristics and further shape individuals’ responses to cultural diversity. Third, the paper extends existing research on a Person × Context interaction approach to anti-immigrant attitudes and suggests how cultural diversity and ideological climates differentially impact the link between individual-level ideologies and anti-immigrant attitudes. The growing field of multilevel research on anti-immigrant attitudes is overviewed and empirical illustrations of our recent research in Switzerland are provided. We conclude by discussing the benefits and further challenges of integrating individual and contextual antecedents in political psychology and beyond.

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

From page no: 253

To page no: 262

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1027/1016-9040/A000157

Journal: European Psychologist

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