Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Articulated antipathies: political influence on anti-immigrant attitudes
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Comparative Sociology, ISSN 0020-7152, E-ISSN 1745-2554, Vol. 52, no 6, 457-477 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how political factors influence anti-immigrant attitudes by focusing on political articulation performed by political parties active at the national level in 26 European countries. Multi-level analysis reveals a significant positive association between general party articulation and anti-immigrant attitudes. In particular, it seems to be when traditional right- or left-wing parties articulate that attitudes towards immigrants turn increasingly negative. Left-leaning individuals are particularly influenced when parties belonging to the political left raise these issues, which indicates that the ideological position of the individual functions as a mediating factor in this regard. The results contribute to a broader understanding of the role of political factors and underscore the importance of their inclusion in cross-national studies of anti-immigrant attitudes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 52, no 6, 457-477 p.
Keyword [en]
multi-level analysis, political articulation, political parties, prejudice, xenophobia
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-52042DOI: 10.1177/0020715211428182ISI: 000298992700001OAI: diva2:492921
Available from: 2012-02-08 Created: 2012-02-08 Last updated: 2014-04-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Anti-immigrant attitudes in context: The role of rhetoric, religion and political representation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Anti-immigrant attitudes in context: The role of rhetoric, religion and political representation
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background. This thesis directs attention to how attitudes towards immigrants evolve under different contextual circumstances. Unlike previous research that primarily focuses on contextual factors related to the availability of material resources, the included studies explore the influence of less tangible aspects of our surroundings, brought together under the term immaterial contexts. Three kinds of immaterial contexts are in focus: political representatives’ use of nationalistic rhetoric, the parliamentary presence of the extreme right, and the religious context. The studies examine the direct effects of these contexts, but also how individuals’ beliefs, loyalties, and experiences interact with the contextual factors to shape peoples’ attitudes.

Methods. The thesis takes a comparative approach where countries serve as the main contextual unit. Data on attitudes and other individual features are gathered from the European Social Survey 2002-2012. To be able to analyze these data in the same model as used for country-level data, the thesis applies multi-level models.

Results. The findings support a theoretical expectation that immaterial contexts influence anti-immigrant attitudes. How people perceive immigrants and immigration can be traced to political and religious aspects of their surroundings. Also, it is found that individuals are not passive recipients of contextual influences as their reactions depend on their preferences and experiences. While political representatives influence anti-immigrant attitudes, these effects are strongly conditional both on features of the representatives themselves, and on characteristics and experiences of individuals. For example, individuals respond to political rhetoric by traditional political parties but are not influenced by the same kind of message if conveyed by a party belonging to the extreme right.

Conclusion. The thesis is an attempt to widen the very notion of contexts in empirical research, and as such, it is a contribution to the literature on anti-immigrant attitudes. It shows that anti-immigrant attitudes depend not only on material circumstances, but also on immaterial circumstances tied to the political and religious arena. Further, the thesis demonstrates how combining the theoretical perspectives of group threat theory and framing theory implies greater possibilities to conceive of the link between contexts and attitudes, as well as improved theoretical tools to understand when and why such effects do not occur. It signals that research on immaterial contexts is necessary to further advance the comparative scholarship on anti-immigrant attitudes and reach a deeper understanding of how such attitudes emerge and evolve.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet, 2014. 35 p.
Akademiska avhandlingar vid Sociologiska institutionen, Umeå universitet, ISSN 1104-2508 ; 73
Anti-immigrant attitudes, immaterial contexts, political framing, political parties, religious context, Europe.
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-88221 (URN)978-91-7601-052-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-05-23, Norra Beteendevetarhuset, Hörsal 1031 Nbvh, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2014-04-30 Created: 2014-04-28 Last updated: 2014-04-30Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bohman, Andrea
By organisation
Department of Sociology
In the same journal
International Journal of Comparative Sociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 285 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link