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Prejudice in context over time: how demographic, economic and social conditions influence anti-immigrant attitudes in adolescents and adults
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background Thesis explores the contexts that influence anti-immigrant attitudes in both adolescents and adults, and how contexts influence changes anti-immigrant attitudes in societies over time. Whereas previous research into anti-immigrant attitudes has either focused on micro socialization factors in adolescence, or threat inducing factors in adulthood; this thesis forwards an approach that synthesizes these two ideas. This approach includes four aspects: 1) Macro level contexts influence of prejudice during adolescence 2) Macro contextual factors, not strictly limited to direct competition over resources are important for prejudicial attitudes 3) These contexts are potentially changing over time, and changes in conditions should be related to changes in attitudes, and 4) The effects of these macro contexts on prejudicial attitudes during adolescence cast a long shadow over the rest of people’s lives.

Methods The methods used in this thesis employ a diverse range of datasets from Sweden (YeS), Germany (CILS4EU), the United States (GSS) and Europe (ESS) to measure attitudes towards immigrants. Each of these datasets allow for both comparative and longitudinal analysis with multi-level models, and contextual indicators that expand with each study from classrooms to regions, and finally countries.

Results The findings support the proposed approach. Demographic, economic and attitudinal contexts in adolescence influence attitudes about immigrants. Similarly, changes in contexts over time are also important. In contrast, only historic demographic and economic conditions experienced in adolescence, and contemporary levels of social trust influence attitudes in adults.

Conclusion This thesis makes both a theoretical and empirical contributions to the literature on anti-immigrant attitudes. By combining previous approaches it draws attention to both different types of contexts and when they should be important in relation to anti-immigrant attitudes. It also shows empirical evidence for each aspect of this approach with longitudinal analyses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, Sociologiska institutionen , 2020. , p. 41
Series
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 83
Keywords [en]
Anti-immigrant attitudes, context, adolescence, formative years, impressionable years, social trust, social change, attitude change, longitudinal analysis, attitudinal environments
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167741ISBN: 978-91-7855-199-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7855-200-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-167741DiVA, id: diva2:1391008
Public defence
2020-02-21, Hörsal 1031, Norra Beteendeveterhuset, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-02-03 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-02-03Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Prejudice in the classroom: A longitudinal analysis of anti-immigrant attitudes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prejudice in the classroom: A longitudinal analysis of anti-immigrant attitudes
2019 (English)In: Ethnic and Racial Studies, ISSN 0141-9870, E-ISSN 1466-4356, Vol. 42, no 9, p. 1514-1533Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article analyses how the classroom context contributes to attitude change in adolescence. By analysing the relationship that the primary school classroom context has on anti-immigrant attitudes over time, it addresses the single factor fallacy that has troubled previous research on classrooms, which has largely tested the contact hypothesis. The dataset includes 849 participants over five-time points from 2010 to 2015. Findings show that over time individual’s anti-immigrant attitudes increased in classrooms with a higher average level of anti-immigrant sentiment net of the effect of classroom heterogeneity. However, this finding was true only while students were still enrolled in the same class over the first three waves of the study. After students entered high school, the classroom/time interaction effect disappears, suggesting that other contextual influences take over. This article highlights the crucial importance of classroom context on attitude development in adolescence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019
Keywords
anti-immigrant attitudes, classroom, context effects, contact hypothesis, longitudinal analysis
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-153238 (URN)10.1080/01419870.2018.1493209 (DOI)000469244300007 ()2-s2.0-85049963588 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P14-0775: 1Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2014.0019Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2016-07177
Available from: 2018-11-12 Created: 2018-11-12 Last updated: 2020-02-03Bibliographically approved
2. Context and Change: A Longitudinal Analysis of Attitudes about Immigrants in Adolescence
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Context and Change: A Longitudinal Analysis of Attitudes about Immigrants in Adolescence
2019 (English)In: Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World, ISSN 2378-0231, Vol. 5, p. 1-11Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research has explored many different relationships between contextual influences, such as levels of immigration or economic condition, and attitudes about immigrants, with mixed results. These have largely been international comparative studies using cross-sectional data, therefore they have been unable to make claims about changes in environmental context translating to changes in attitudes of respondents. Furthermore, the previous literature has almost exclusively tested these relationships using data from adults, despite research showing that attitudes are most subject to change during adolescence. This study addresses these issues by using a longitudinal data set of repeated measures of 2,328 German adolescents (about 14–18 years old) over four response waves (2010–2014). Using a multilevel analysis, results show that contextual changes, including the percentage of foreign-born people and unemployment rates within respondents’ states, correspond to changes in attitudes toward immigrants consistent with group threat theory. These results were stable even when controlling individual-level factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
anti-immigrant attitudes, group threat, adolescence, repeated measures, context effects
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-160803 (URN)10.1177/2378023119855157 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-06-24 Created: 2019-06-24 Last updated: 2020-02-03Bibliographically approved
3. "When I was growing up": The lasting impact of immigrant presence on native-born American attitudes towards immigrants and immigration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"When I was growing up": The lasting impact of immigrant presence on native-born American attitudes towards immigrants and immigration
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167738 (URN)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2016-07177Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, ). P14-0775:1Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2014.0019
Available from: 2020-02-03 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-02-07
4. Social trust and anti-immigrant attitudes in Europe: A longitudinal multi-level analysis
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social trust and anti-immigrant attitudes in Europe: A longitudinal multi-level analysis
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-167740 (URN)
Available from: 2020-02-03 Created: 2020-02-03 Last updated: 2020-02-03

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