English title: Social Trust, Social Capital and Perceptions of Immigration

Author(s): Francisco Herreros - Henar Criado -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2008


Analyses of social capital and immigration have stressed the negative impact that culturally diverse societies have for the development of social trust. Ethnic heterogeneity, according to these studies, is associated with lower levels of social trust. However, social trust has not been studied as an independent variable in order to explain attitudes towards immigration. This article argues that societies with high levels of social capital facilitate the integration of immigrants because those members with high levels of social trust will tend to have more positive attitudes towards immigration. This hypothesis is empirically tested in a cross-country multi-level empirical analysis for sixteen European countries, drawing on the 2002-3 European Social Survey. This analysis shows that, regardless of the impact of other individual-level variables and contextual variables such as levels of unemployment or percentage of foreign population, those with high social capital do exhibit more positive attitudes towards immigration than the rest of the population.

Volume: 57

Issue: 2

From page no: 337

To page no: 355

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1111/J.1467-9248.2008.00738.X

Journal: Political Studies

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