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Session Overview
RN35_08: Migration in Public Perception and Discourse
Thursday, 22/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Janine Dahinden, University of Neuchâtel
Location: BS.G.26
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Ground Floor Oxford Road

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Gender Differences in Stereotypical Attitudes and Social Distance Toward Migrant Workers

Riva Ziv

Ashkelon Academic College, Israel

One of the consequences of globalization is the migration of workers to developed economies where they find low-paid, low-prestige employment. The issue of migrant workers in Israel has recently risen to prominence in its public discourse, where it is generally seen as a threat to Israeli society. This view is a consequence of the inevitable encounter between heterogeneous groups within Israeli society and the resultant cultural tensions.

The purpose of the present study was to examine whether there exist gender differences in stereotypical attitudes and in social-distance among Israelis towards migrant workers. We checked the hypothesis that employment of migrant workers reduces stereotypical attitudes and social-distance.

The Bugardus social distance scale questionnaire and a stereotypes assessment questionnaire were distributed to 150 men (75 employers and 75 non employers) and 150 women (75 employers and 75 non employers).

Unsurprisingly, we found that both women and men who employed migrant workers held more positive stereotypes of migrant workers compared to non-employers. Women tended to hold more positive stereotypes than men. As for social-distance, employers reported less social-distance compared to non-employers. No gender differences were detected, thus women's more positive stereotypes of migrant workers did not result in lower social-distance.

Does Migration Affect Notions About Justice?

Ingrid Grosse

Dalarna University, Sweden

Migration has many effects on individuals and countries. Among other things, it is supposed to change preferences for welfare spending and redistribution politics. Some researchers hypothesize that preferences decrease due to lower levels of solidarity between differing ethnic groups and due to higher costs related to immigrants’ social needs. Others hypothesize that preferences increase due to higher general levels of inequality, poverty and unemployment.

This paper will focus on the issue from a cultural view, instead: the question is if differing cultural and religious backgrounds of the established population on one hand and immigrants on the other hand come with differing views on what is supposed to be just. Justice relates to questions of redistribution and welfare spending, but relates even to wider issues about what is due to a person or an institution. Religions, for example, differ in conceptions about rightful claims concerning various situations. In addition, historical legacies of countries have informed the experiences of equality and justice, which in turn have created different cultures related to notions of justice according to several researchers. Thus, immigrants and established populations may differ concerning what they regard as just, if notions of justice are preformed and relatively stable. Alternatively, notions could be rather similar, if the new social environment forms them.

I will take a closer look into these issues. For this purpose, I apply multilevel analysis. I will use World Values Survey data, which comprise a range of countries from all world regions, and, in addition, the Quality of Government dataset.

Social Trust and Fear of Refugees

Jozef Zagrapan

Institute for Sociology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovak Republic

There is a number of theoretical approaches that explain the determinants of the attitudes towards foreigners/immigrant/refugees, however, only a limited number of them focused on a relationship between these attitudes and social trust. Those that did, claim that people with higher levels of social trust are more likely go with the risk of trusting people with different cultural background. Also, people with higher social capital are more likely to exhibit positive attitudes towards immigration. This study tests the hypothesized relationship between social trust and position on immigration on Slovak data from 2018 module of the International Social Survey Programme (N = 1470). Results show that respondents claiming that “People can almost always be trusted” are less likely to be worried about refugees than others. The same conclusion applies to people with more liberal views comparing to those with more conservative views. On the other hand, factors previously connected to attitudes towards immigration in other countries, such as gender, age, education, employment status or income, do not seem to play a role in Slovakia and are not statistically significant.

Global Social Inequalities Localised: Refugees Between Civic Engagement and Populism

Kyoko Shinozaki1, Ruth Abramowski1,2, Dženeta Karabegović1, Lena Stöllinger1, Anna Winkler1

1University of Salzburg, Austria; 2University of Bremen, Germany

Debates on refugee movements are shifting from ‘arrival’, to that of ‘(forced) return’ for some, and that of ‘integration’ in the ‘receiving’ context for those who stay. It is this latter shift which has paved the way for the emergence of populism on the one hand, and that of civil engagement, on the other. It compels us to analyse the stayers through a lens of social inequalities. Social inequalities denote a systematic lack of access among individuals and social groups to both material and immaterial valued resources due to their societal positions. Meanwhile, however, inequality scholarship has been critiqued by migration scholars for neglecting the spatial dimension, taking for granted nation-state-based society as a unit of reference.

Taking these debates as a point of departure, this paper first examines the extent of inequalities in terms of education, employment and housing that have begun to be formed among refugees’ lives, compared to non-migrant and migrant groups, using the “IAB-BAMF-SOEP Survey of Refugees” in Germany and the “Displaced Persons in Austria Survey”. Second, we map the networks of civil society actors providing refugees with support in Salzburg and explore the ways in which, despite the ever-present populist rhetoric, these may help refugees to unfold their own capabilities to integrate in the local society while simultaneously staying connected with their hometowns. By doing so, this paper also sheds light on some of the ways in which civil society actors themselves are undergoing changes through refugee migration.

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