Social trust and anti-immigrant attitudes in Europe: a longitudinal multilevel analysis of 32 countries Jeffrey Mitchell, postgraduate student at the Department of Sociology, Umeå University
The seminar will be held in Eglish.
Previous research on the relationship between prejudice and macro contextual indicators has focused primarily on material conditions as threat inducing factors that lead to anti-immigrant attitudes. However, the empirical evidence supporting this link is mixed, while research focusing on how non-material factors such as political and media environments influence prejudice has been more fruitful. Still, one of the most consistently used measures of social cohesion, social trust, has largely been left unexamined. This article uses 7 rounds of the ESS (2002-2014) to test how differences in social trust, both within and between countries influence attitudes about immigrants. Results show that countries with higher levels of social trust have more favorable attitudes towards immigrants, and while changes in social trust over time are small, they result in comparably large changes in anti-immigrant attitudes, even when controlling for material conditions such as proportions of migrants and economic conditions.