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Title:Contextual Dynamics of Immigration Attitudes: Regional Differences in Southern Europe
Author(s):Escandell, Xavier
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):James R. Kluegel
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Abstract:Research in the area of attitudes towards immigration will benefit from a more thorough discussion of the relationship between degrees of political engagement and the variance of political and social tolerance towards immigrants. Drawing upon institutional theory and realistic conflict theory, I further refine a theory of ethnic competition and prejudice in the Southern European context. I argue that popular attitudes towards immigration are correlated with a set of individual level factors (e.g. perceptions of personal and collective threat, as well as measures of political socialization), which are shaped and determined by the contextual characteristics (e.g. economic conditions and demographic characteristics) as well as the type of institutional environment (e.g. the presence or absence of support towards civic institutions) in which inter-group relations are embedded. The characterization of these environments determines the type of in-group/out-group social relations. I first, empirically characterize the type of "civic communities" existing in 50 Southern European regions and then, empirically test its significance in preventing inter-group hostility and the fostering of tolerance towards minority groups. Results show that there is strong significant effect between trust in institutions (such as NGOs and voluntary organizations) and decreased levels of anti-immigrant sentiment and intergroup conflict in Southern Europe. This dissertation provides evidence for the widespread effects that local minority group size and types of institutional trust have on political and social tolerance towards immigrants. Furthermore, evidence is provided that anti-immigrant sentiment has an extensive impact on Southern Europeans' policy opinions.
Issue Date:2005
Description:215 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3198987
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2005

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