Attitudes Towards Foreign-born Settlers: Finland in a Comparative Perspective

English title: Attitudes Towards Foreign-born Settlers: Finland in a Comparative Perspective

Author(s): Heikki Ervasti -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2004


The present paper focuses on the Finnish attitudinal climate towards foreign-born settlers, i.e. immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in a comparative perspective. Two theoretical approaches are tested: 1) the socio-economic explanation in which prejudice is seen as an outcome of the original majority population fearing a decline of their socio-economic position, and 2) a culturally oriented explanation which refers to fears concerning the possible negative cultural effects of immigration. Using survey data from the first round of the European Social Survey (ESS) on Finland and 18 other countries, we find that at the most general level, Finns do hold comparatively negative attitudes towards increasing the number of immigrants in Finland. However, as we turn to more specific items on economic and especially cultural threat, we find that Finns are as tolerant or even more tolerant than other Europeans. Multivariate analyses show that both socio-economic factors and values, ideologies and religiosity may generate prejudice. The two theoretical approaches should, thus, not be taken as alternatives but rather as complementary theories.

Volume: 40

Issue: 0

From page no: 25

To page no: 44

Refereed: Yes


Journal: Finnish Yearbook of Population Research

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