English title: Europeans' Preference for Ethnic Residential Homogeneity: Cross-National Analysis of Response to Neighborhood Ethnic Composition

Author(s): Moshe Semyonov - Anya Glikman - Maria Krysan -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2007

Abstract

This article examines Europeans' preference to reside in neighborhoods without ethnic minorities. The analysis is based on data from 20 countries obtained from the 2003 European Social Survey (Jowell and the Central Coordinating Team 2003) . The data show that in most countries very few Europeans report living in areas with some or with many ethnic minorities, and that in most countries a substantial number of respondents consider their ideal neighborhood one that does not have residents who are ethnic minorities. Multilevel regression analysis reveals that preference for place of residence as a response to its ethnic composition is significantly affected by both individual-level and country-level characteristics. At the individual level, preference for ethnically homogeneous residence tends to be more pronounced among socioeconomically weak and vulnerable populations, conservative populations, and individuals who reside in communities without ethnic minorities. The country-level analysis demonstrates that preference to live in neighborhoods without ethnic minorities tends to increase with the relative size of the non-European ethnic population and to decrease with economic prosperity. Further analysis reveals that in Europe, preference for residing in ethnically homogeneous neighborhoods is influenced by three major social psychological factors: social distance, perceptions of the negative impact of foreigners, and preference for cultural homogeneity. The findings are discussed and evaluated in light of the general literature on structural sources of threat, prejudice, and choice of community, and are compared to findings revealed by research in the United States.

Volume: 54

Issue: 4

From page no: 434

To page no: 453

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1525/SP.2007.54.4.434

Journal: Social problems

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