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National identity and attitudes towards immigrants in Finland, Great Britain and the USA
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This paper investigates the relationship between national identity and attitudes towards immigrants. It examines three countries with different history of nation building and immigration: Finland, Great Britain and the USA. It is assumed that the differences in nation building and immigration across the countries have led to a different understanding of national identity and attitudes towards immigrants. The hypothesis is that the relationship between national identity and attitudes towards immigrants is not consistent but is dependent on how belonging to the nation is defined. This paper uses eight different aspects to measure the understanding of national identity. Attitudes towards immigrants are explored on six dimensions: criminality, economy, labor market, society, culture and the number of immigrants. The paper uses the theory of ethnic and civic types of national identity as a basis for the analysis. The ethnic definition of national identity is assumed to be related to anti-immigrant attitudes while a more civic definition may even lead to more open attitudes towards immigrants. Ordinal logistic regression has been used to estimate these relationships. The data used comes from the International Social Survey Programme’s ‘National Identity’ module from 2013. The results show clear differences between the countries both in the general attitudes towards immigrants and the prominence of anti-immigrant attitudes. In all countries ethnic definition of national identity is connected to more negative attitudes towards immigrants. However, there are differences in how individual aspects of identity correlate with different dimensions of attitudes towards immigrants. The number of people viewing the ethnic aspects of national identity as important is larger in Great Britain and anti-immigrant attitudes generally more widespread than in Finland and the USA. Additionally, the results from ordinal logistic regressions show that while the majority of aspects of national identity correlated with anti-immigrant attitudes, some of the civic aspects were connected to more positive attitudes. The results differed between the countries suggesting that the relationship between national identity and attitudes towards immigrants is not consistent and that it does depend on the definition of national identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 40
Keywords [en]
Attitudes towards immigrants, national identity, immigration, xenophobia
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158519OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158519DiVA, id: diva2:1237357
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Available from: 2018-08-09 Created: 2018-08-08 Last updated: 2018-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf