Enlightened or just less threatened: Education and anti-immigrant attitudes


This research proposal combines the strengths of sociology and social psychology to investigate the effect of education on anti-immigrant attitudes. Many studies in the last fifty years have found that the higher educated have less negative anti-immigrant attitudes. Anti-immigrant prejudice can have many negative consequences for social integration in communities but also for EU integration. However, the exact nature of the effect of education is unclear, partly as a consequence of the difficulty of establishing causal effects using representative surveys. We will use recent methodological (implicit measures) and theoretical (group-based emotions) advances in social psychology to tackle this issue. Theoretically, the sociological and social psychological literature on the role of group threat is integrated. The proposed research consists of (1) a detailed analysis of the education effect on all types of anti-immigrant attitudes in existing studies, e.g. the European Social Survey, (2) a study with an educationally diverse sample including explicit and implicit measures of anti-immigrant attitudes, and also group-based emotions, and (3) experimental studies that further investigate the role of intergroup economic threat in educational differences in anti-immigrant attitudes. The researcher’s strong background in sociology and social psychology makes him well-prepared to carry out this project. The exceptional training environment offered by the School of Psychology at Cardiff University will ensure the successful execution of the project and particularly the training of the researcher in the fields relevant to this proposal and in which the School of Psychology has abundant expertise (intergroup relations, emotions, automatic aspects of attitudes). Finally, the extensive international collaborations of Professor Spears (the supervisor) will provide opportunities for the applicant to collaborate on related research and establish international connections.
Year 2010

Taxonomy Associations

Migration processes
Migration consequences (for migrants, sending and receiving countries)
Migration governance
Ask us