English title: Regional Differences Matter: Examining the Dual Influence of the Regional Size of the Immigrant Population on Derogation of Immigrants in Europe

Author(s): Elmar Schlueter - Ulrich Wagner -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2008


In this study, we examine which role the size of the immigrant population plays in explaining immigrant derogation within and between European regions. We draw upon group threat- and intergroup contact theory to consider the following question: does a larger size of immigrant population increase perceived group threat and thereby lead to greater immigrant derogation? Or does it increase intergroup contact and thereby ameliorate immigrant derogation? We test the empirical adequacy of these alternative suggestions using regionalized European Social Survey 2002 and official data which will be analyzed by means of multilevel structural equation modeling. Within regions, our results confirm that perceived group threat increases subsequent immigrant derogation. Likewise, intergroup contact reduces perceived group threat and thereby amends such derogation of immigrants. Between regions, our findings show that a larger size of the immigrant population increases both greater perceived group threat and intergroup contact. At the same time, the effects of perceived group threat and intergroup contact on immigrant derogation resemble those found within regions. In sum, these results lend evidence to the generalizability of both group threat- and contact effects. Implications of these findings for future research are discussed.

Volume: 49

Issue: 2

From page no: 153

To page no: 173

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0020815207088910

Journal: International Journal of Comparative Sociology

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