The dynamics of ethnocentrism in European regions. Comparing enduring and emerging determinants of solidarity towards immigrants
1University of Salzburg, Austria; 2University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
This presentation examines cross-national differences in solidarity towards immigrants in Europe. We focus on so called macro-solidarity which refers to a basic concept of humanity that represents the overcoming of interests which are restricted to communities (micro-solidarity) or nation states (meso-solidarity). This concept of solidarity is operationalized through attitudes towards immigrants as a special type of ethnocentrism. The main thesis to be tested is that "classical" enduring determinants (socio-demographic factors, subjective values and structural factors) are still able to explain ethnocentrism but these factors are enriched and mediated by a cluster of five emerging explanatory factors which reflect societal malaise: dissatisfaction with society, political distrust, fear of social decline, lack of recognition, and social distrust. The thesis of societal malaise as a powerful concept to explain contemporary restrictions of macro-solidarity is tested with a Multiple-Group Structural Equation Model using data of 21 countries from European Social Survey (wave 6 2012). A theory-guided approach is used to categorize European nations into six heterogeneous European regions to analyze regional differences in determinants of ethnocentrism. Empirical-statistical analyses reveal that new emerging factors of societal malaise indeed are stronger predictors of ethnocentrism in comparison to classical determinants. In addition, societal malaise acts as mediator of classical explanations of ethnocentrism. In comparative perspective, determinants of ethnocentrism are strongly heterogeneous throughout the six European regions.
The Roots of Xenophobia
1Ural Federal University, Russian Federation; 2The Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR), a National Research University the Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation
In the early 21st century xenophobic beliefs are still widespread. The process of the observed mixing of populations and the continual influx of immigrants does not come hand in hand with increased tolerance for ethnic diversity. Deep aversion to immigrants has been the reason for protests by the indigenous population in Germany, France, Russia, etc. Since the 1990th, xenophobic, deeply conservative and extreme right-wing parties have arisen and re-emerged as an electoral force in much of Europe. In the 2014 elections to the European Parliament, there was a dramatic surge of support for xenophobic political forces. In France (Front National) and Denmark (Danish People’s Party), xenophobic and anti-European parties moved into first place, winning a large share of the vote than the major parties that have governed these countries for decades. In this context increasing xenophobia can be considered a factor that undermines support for the European Union as a whole, and Brexit (2016) is a bright illustration of this.
Despite a significant amount of provided by cross-national research evidence on how local population react on newcomers our understanding of the dynamics of attitudes toward immigration and its fundamental causes remains nebulous.
In my research, on the example of countries that are European Union members and some other countries that have experienced substantial flows of economically-motivated immigrants (the U.S.A., Russia, Australia and Canada) (Total N=32), I seek to put the problem of intolerance towards immigrants in a broader societal and economic context. Using the World Value Survey database from 1989 till 2015, I argue that not ethnic diversity alone and not current economic conditions, but existential insecurity is the major cause of xenophobic attitudes.
Youth’s Moral Attitudes as a Basis for Prevention of Radical Actions
Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Russian Federation
The peculiarity of the young Russians current generation is that they have no need to battle to survive (as it was in 1990s), but life prospects are vague because socio-economic system established in Russia limits their career, business and professional opportunities and self-realization prospects.
Aspirations someway to express yourself coupled with so-called “intemperate youth speaking” stimulate young people to enter various extremist organizations, radical movements.
Study on the rejection of extremist views and terrorism manifestations as part of spiritual, moral and patriotic education of youth was conducted in September 2016 on the basis of RUDN University sociological laboratory. Sample: 516 Russian students of RUDN University. According to data the majority of young people is not ready to participate in the opposition rallies, and if by chance they were, "would probably have tried to get away from there." The expression of protest following the Pussy Riot’s example youth regards as too radical, preferring the quieter forms of protest that shows partiality to the feelings of believers. Regarding the motives that drive young people entering into a sect, note 3 main reasons
- The ability to find support;
- The need for identity
- Ability to feel like an important part of society.
However, the main reason for the popularity of radical youth organizations and motive for joining them is the ability to earn money.
The key indicators of different areas of analysis leads to the conclusion about the morality level and today's youth values and its relation to radical and extremist views. However, a continuous work on spiritual and moral development is necessary to reduce to zero cases of manipulation and substitution of values among young people (V.Karaulova case)
How general is generalised trust?
Mykolas Romeris university, Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Lithuania
When analysing trust, a common distinction is being made in the scientific literature, namely, distinction between trust in people who are (personally) known and people in general. The latter is referred to as “generalised trust”. In surveys, generalised trust is measured by wording “Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?“. A good measurement tool has to be unequivocal and all parties should interpret it in the same way. That is, the same connotation shall lay behind conceptual definition, idea of survey question and perception of respondents who answer to the generalised trust question.
The presentation attempts looking at the correspondence (or rather lack of correspondence) between conceptual definition, operational definition and perception of respondents. In a qualitative research on formation of social and political trust in Lithuania, 14 in-depth interviews with young people were conducted. In the course of each interview, at a particular point a participant was given a card with standard survey question and was asked to provide his/her answer. Immediately after that the participant was asked “Could you please tell, who were the people you were considering when answering the question?” Categories named by the participants do not correspond to the idea of “social generalized trust”. Participants mentioned neighbours, co-workers, acquaintances and other categories of people who do not fall under conception of “unknown, general”. The presentation attempts fostering further discussion about the development of a better measurement tool for social generalised trust.