Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • 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
Are They Hunkering Down? Revisiting the Relationship between Exposure to Ethnic Diversity, Intergroup Contact, and Group Trust
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2773-957X
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Past research suggests that the migration-induced diversification of everyday living spaces creates uncertainty about shared norms and rules of engagement, leading individuals to “hunker down” and become distrustful. Theory distinguishes between mere exposure and actual contact effects. For mere exposure, the assumption is that ethnic diversity matters even in the absence of one-on-one interactions, as observing the unknown from afar will serve to activate negative prejudice which lowers trust. But diverse environments may also provide opportunities for positive contact, leading individuals to revise their distrust. Improving upon existing studies, we investigate simultaneously the association between group trust and diversity via static and cumulative mere exposure in the neighborhood setting and actual intergroup contact at the workplace, relying on administrative register data rather than self-reporting for our main predictors. We find that trust in neighbors is significantly negatively associated with cumulative exposure to ethnic diversity, while the widely-used measure of current exposure shows no effect. Workplace contact neither has a statistically significant association with trust in neighbors, nor does it mediate the negative association between neighborhood exposure and trust. We thus find some support for the hunkering down hypothesis, but also find that it takes much more precise measures of exposure than studies commonly use to reliably establish this effect.

Keyword [en]
trust, diversity, exposure, contact, Sweden
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140874OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140874DiVA: diva2:1085938
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2011-0205
Available from: 2017-03-30 Created: 2017-03-30 Last updated: 2017-05-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Immigration, Social Cohesion, and the Welfare State: Studies on Ethnic Diversity in Germany and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Immigration, Social Cohesion, and the Welfare State: Studies on Ethnic Diversity in Germany and Sweden
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Can social cohesion and solidarity persist in the face of large-scale migration? One particularly contentious hypothesis states that native majorities will be unwilling to support the provision of government-funded welfare to those whom they do not consider to be part of their own sociocultural ingroup, especially when sociocultural or ethnic otherness and socioeconomic disadvantage overlap. Consequently, majorities’ willingness to accept disadvantaged immigrant groups as legitimate and trusted members of the welfare community is central to the social cohesion of societies diversifying through migration.

The dissertation consists of a comprehensive summary, followed by four original studies addressing the interplay between migration-induced diversity and social cohesion through the lens of majority attitudes and the micro and macro contexts within which they are embedded. The studies focus on Sweden and Germany, two European societies that host strong welfare states and large immigrant populations. Together, they seek to answer two central questions:

First, does social distance between native-born citizens and immigrants lead the former to withdraw support from all redistributive policies, or are some types of welfare more affected than others? Second, how does the migration-induced diversification of societies come to matter for majority attitudes toward the welfare state and, as they are closely related, for majority attitudes toward the trustworthiness of others?

Looking at the case of Germany, Study 1 shows that the conflict between diversity and welfare solidarity is not expressed in a general majority opposition to welfare, but rather in an opposition to government assistance benefiting immigrants – a phenomenon sometimes referred to as welfare chauvinism.

Study 2 turns to the case of Sweden and investigates three pathways into welfare chauvinism: via the first-hand experience of immigrant unemployment and putative welfare receipt in the neighborhood context; via exposure to immigrant competition at the workplace; and via negative prejudice against immigrants. We find that the direct observation of immigrant unemployment in the neighborhood increases natives’ preference for spending on other Swedes over spending on immigrants, while competition with immigrants at the workplace does not.

Using the same Swedish data, Study 3 hypothesizes that ethnically diverse workplaces imply trust-fostering inter-group contact. Yet, like in Study 2, we find a negative relationship between majority Swedes’ exposure to certain immigrant groups in the neighborhood and their trust in neighbors, while diverse workplaces neither seem to increase trust nor to affect the negative neighborhood-level association.

Both Studies 2 and 3 show that negative attitudes toward immigrants increase welfare chauvinism and lower trust, even disregarding majority Swedes’ actual experience of immigrant presence or unemployment. Study 4 thus turns to a social force outside the realm of first-hand experience and explores German online news media debates on the welfare deservingness of various sociodemographic groups – among them, immigrants (as refugees in particular). However, rather than observing the persistent and particular stigmatization of immigrants as undeserving recipients or untrustworthy abusers of welfare, we find much more nuanced descriptions in our vast corpus of news stories.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, 2017
Series
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 68
Keyword
welfare state, attitudes, intergroup relations, prejudice, deservingness, diversity, immigration, integration, unemployment, Sweden, Germany
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-141582 (URN)978-91-7649-817-0 (ISBN)978-91-7649-818-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-09, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2017-05-17 Created: 2017-04-23 Last updated: 2017-05-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Goldschmidt, TinaHällsten, MartinRydgren, Jens
By organisation
Department of Sociology
Sociology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 44 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • 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