Beyond the Migration Crisis, Deep Values. Where Does Hostility to Immigrants Come from?


Abstract


Immigration has become a key issue in electoral competition in Italy. Several studies have demonstrated the weight of immigration on voting choices of Italian voters, as well as the importance that this issue has had for the electoral success of certain parties, namely the League. However, it is still unclear why voters are mobilized on this issue and, more generally, what are the underlying factors of individual attitudes towards migrants. In this paper we explore whether and to what extent these attitudes are the result of latent cultural factors, which find their roots in long-standing and deeper value predispositions. We do so, relying on an original survey car-ried out among Italian citizens and making use of the Schwartz conceptualization and measurement of values. A series of regression analyses demonstrate that, besides conditions of objective economic deprivation, prox-imity to migrants, and perception of threat and insecurity, values are the most relevant explanatory factors of attitudes towards immigration. This leads us to conclude that hostile attitudes towards immigration are not the result of a radical transformation of public opinion in Italy, but rather the expression of more general, structur-ally conservative value orientations.

Keywords: Demarcation; Immigration attitudes; League; Salvini; Values

References


Allport, G. (1958), The Nature of Prejudice, Garden City NY: Doubleday.

Amir, Y. (1969), “The Contact Hypothesis in Ethnic Relations”, Psychological Bulletin, 71(5): 319-342.

Blalock, H.M. (1967), Toward a Theory of Minority-Group Relations, New York: Wiley.

Burns, P., J.G. Gimpel (2000), “Economic insecurity, prejudicial stereotypes, and public opinion on immigration policy”, Political Science Quarterly, 115 (2): 201–225.

Castelli Gattinara, P. (2017), “The ‘refugee crisis’ in Italy as a crisis of legitimacy”, Contemporary Italian Politics, 9 (3): 318-331.

Catellani P., P. Milesi (2010), “I Valori e la Scelta di voto”, in P. Bellucci, P. Segatti (eds.) Votare in Italia 1968-2008: Dall’Appartenenza alla Scelta, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp. 213-245.

Chiaramonte A., V. Emanuele, N. Maggini, and A. Paparo (2018), “Populist Success in a Hung Parliament: The 2018 General Election in Italy”, South European Society and Politics, 23 (4): 479-501.

Colombo, A., G. Sciortino, and E. Craveri (2002), “The Bossi-Fini law: explicit fanaticism, implicit moderation, and poisoned fruits”, Italian Politics, 18: 162-179.

Corbetta, P. and L. Ceccarini (2010), “Le variabili socio-demografiche: generazione, genere, istruzione e famiglia”, in P. Bellucci and P. Segatti (eds) Votare in Italia: 1968-2008.

Dall’appartenenza alla scelta, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp. 83–148.

Davidov, E., B. Meuleman, J. Billiet, P. Schmidt (2008), “Values and support for immigration: a cross-country comparison”, European Sociological Review, 24(5): 583-599.

Davidov, E. and B. Meuleman (2012), “Explaining Attitudes Towards Immigration Policies in European Countries: The Role of Human Values”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 38(5): 757-775.

De Sio L., V. Emanuele, N. Maggini, A. Paparo, D. Angelucci, and R. D’Alimonte (2019), Issue Competition Comparative Project (ICCP), Cologne: GESIS Data Archive, ZA7499 Data file Version 1.0.0, doi:10.4232/1.13328.

De Sio L., A. Paparo (2018), “Il mandato del 4 marzo. Dietro vittorie e sconfitte, la domanda di affrontare vecchi problemi e nuovi conflitti”, in V. Emanuele, A. Paparo (eds.), Gli sfidanti al governo. Disincanto, nuovi conflitti e diverse strategie dietro il voto del 4 marzo 2018, Roma: LUISS University Press, pp. 153-158.

Duriez, B., P. Luyten, B. Snauwaert, D. Hutsebaut (2002), “The importance of religiosity and values in predicting political attitudes: evidence for the continuing importance of religiosity in Flanders (Belgium)”, Mental Health, Religion and Culture, 5(1): 35-54.

Einaudi, L. (2007), Le Politiche dell'Immigrazione in Italia dall'Unità a Oggi, Roma: Laterza.

Ellison, C. G., H. Shin, D.L. Leal (2011), “The contact hypothesis and attitudes toward Latinos in the United States”, Social Science Quarterly, 92(4): 938-958.

Emanuele V., N. Maggini, and A. Paparo (2019), “Un’opinione pubblica di sinistra sull’economia e di destra sull’immigrazione: il terreno ideale per partiti post-ideologici?”, in A. Chiaramonte, L. De Sio (eds.), Il voto del cambiamento. Le elezioni politiche del 2018, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp. 61-80.

Emanuele V., N. Maggini, and A. Paparo (2020), “The times they are a-changin’: party campaign strategies in the 2018 Italian election”, West European Politics, 43 (3): 665-687.

Enos, R.D. (2013), “The causal effect of prolonged intergroup contact on exclusionary attitudes: a test using public transportation in homogeneous communities”, Working Paper Harvard University.

Facchini G, A.M. Mayda (2009), “Does the welfare state affect individual attitudes toward immigrants? Evidence across countries”, Review of Economics and Statistics, 91(2): 295– 314.

Feldman, S. (1988), “Structure and consistency in public opinion: The role of core beliefs and values”, American Journal of Political Science, 32(2): 416– 440.

Fennelly K., C. Federico (2008), “Rural residence as a determinant of attitudes toward US immigration policy”, International Migration, 46(1): 151– 190.

Fetzer, J.S. (2000), Public Attitudes Toward Immigration in the United States, France, and Germany, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ford, W. S. (1986), “Favorable intergroup contact may not reduce prejudice: Inconclusive journal evidence, 1960-1984”, Sociology and Social Research, 70(4): 256-258.

Geddes, A. (2008), “Il rombo dei cannoni? Immigration and the centre-right in Italy”, Journal of European Public Policy, 15 (3): 349-366.

Gianfreda, S. (2018), “Politicization of the refugee crisis? A content analysis of parliamentary debates in Italy, the UK, and the EU”, Italian Political Science Review, 48(1): 85-108.

Gravelle, T. B. (2016), “Party identification, contact, contexts, and public attitudes toward illegal immigration”, Public Opinion Quarterly, 80(1): 1-25.

Guimond, S., M. Dambrun (2002), “When prosperity breeds intergroup hostility: The effects of relative deprivation and relative gratification on prejudice”, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(7): 900– 912

Hainmueller, J., M.J. Hiscox, (2007), “Educated Preferences: Explaining Attitudes Toward Immigration in Europe”, International Organization, 61(2): 399-442.

Hainmueller J., D.J. Hopkins (2014), “Public attitudes toward immigration”, Annual Review of Political Science, 17: 225– 249.

Haubert, J., E. Fussell, (2006), “Explaining pro-immigrant sentiment in the US: Social class, cosmopolitanism, and perceptions of immigrants”, International Migration Review, 40(3): 489-507.

Hofstede G. (1979), “Value systems in forty countries”, in L. Eckensberger, W. Lonner, and Y. Poortinga (eds.), Cross-cultural contributions to psychology Amsterdam: Swets & Zeitlinger, pp. 389–407.

Hofstede G. (1980), Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values, Beverly Hills: Sage.

Hogarth, C. (2016), “Translating Africa to Italians: Mediating a presence”, Perspectives, 24(3): 458-469.

Homola, J., M. Tavits (2017), “Contact Reduces Immigration-Related Fears for Leftist but Not for Rightist Voters”, Comparative Political Studies, 51(13): 1789-1820.

Hurwitz, J., M.A. Peffley (1998), Perception and prejudice: Race and politics in the United States, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Huysmans, J. (2006), The politics of insecurity. Fear, migration and asylum in the EU, Abingdon: Routledge.

Ignazi, P. (1992), “The silent counter-revolution: Hypotheses on the emergence of extreme right-wing parties in Europe”, European Journal of Political Research, 22 (1): 3–34.

Jetten, J., F. Mols, Postmes, T. (2015), “Relative Deprivation and Relative Wealth Enhances Anti-Immigrant Sentiments: The V-Curve Re-Examined”, PLoS ONE, 10(10), doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0139156.

LeBlanc J., A.M. Beaton, I. Walker (2015), “The downside of being up: A new look at group relative gratification and traditional prejudice”, Social Justice Research, 28: 143–167.

Lancee, B., O. Sarrasin, (2015), “Educated Preferences or Selection Effects? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Educational Attainment on Attitudes Towards Immigrants”, European Sociological Review, 31(4): 490-501.

Leong C.H., C. Ward (2006), “Cultural values and attitudes toward immigrants and multiculturalism: The case of the Eurobarometer survey on racism and xenophobia”, International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 30(6): 799-810.

Maggini, N., E. Fernández G.G. (2019), “Politicization of Solidarity Toward Out-Groups: The Case of Refugees”, American Behavioral Scientist, 63(4): 475–491.

Manevska K., P. Achterberg (2013), “Immigration and perceived ethnic threat: Cultural capital and economic explanations”, European Sociological Review, 29(3): 437– 449.

McLaren L. (2003), “Anti-immigrant prejudice in Europe: contact, threat perception, and preferences for the exclusion of migrants”, Social Forces, 81(3): 909–936.

McLaren L., M. Johnson (2007), “Resources, Group Conflict and Symbols: Explaining Anti-Immigration Hostility in Britain”, Political Studies, 55(3): 709-732.

Meuleman, B. (2011), “Perceived economic threat and anti-immigration attitudes: effects of economic conditions and immigrant group size revisited”, in E. Davidov, P. Schmidt, and J. Billiet (eds) Methods and Applications in Cross-Cultural Research New York: Taylor and Francis, 281-310.

Nunn C.Z., H.J. Crockett, and J.A. Williams (1978), Tolerance for Nonconformity, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Oesch D. (2006a), “Coming to grips with a changing class structure”, International Sociology, 21(2): 263-288.

Oesch D. (2006b), Redrawing the Class Map. Stratification and Institutions in Britain, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pantoja, A. (2006), “Against the tide? Core American values and attitudes toward US immigration policy in the mid-1990s”, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32(3): 515–531.

Peffley M.A., J. Hurwitz (1985), “A hierarchical model of attitude constraint”, American Journal of Political Science, 29(4): 871– 890.

Postmes, T., L.G.E. Smith (2009), “Why do the privileged resort to oppression: A look at some intragroup factors”, Journal of Social Issues, 65(4): 769–790.

Pugliese, E. (2006), L'Italia: tra migrazioni internazionale e migrazioni interne, Bologna: Il Mulino.

Quillian, L. (1995), “Prejudice as a response to perceived group threat: population composition and anti-immigrant and racial prejudice in Europe”, American Sociological Review, 60 (4): 586-611.

Roncarolo, F., C. Cremonesi (2019), “Journalistic Narratives and Political Communication Strategies Against the Background of a Critical Mood: The 2018 Election Campaign in the Traditional Media and Beyond”, in L. Ceccarini, J.L. Newell (eds.), The Italian General Elections of 2018. Italy in Uncharted Territory,

Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 191-215.

Sagiv, L., S.H. Schwartz (1995), “Value priorities and readiness for out-group social contact”, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(3): 437-448.

Scheve K.F., M.J. Slaughter (2001), “Labor market competition and individual preferences over immigration policy”, The Review of Economics and Statistics, 83(1): 133–145.

Schwartz, S.H. (1992), “Universals in the Content and Structure of Values: Theory and Empirical Tests in 20 Countries”, in M. Zanna (ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. Volume 25, New York: Academic Press, pp. 1-65.

Schwartz, S.H. (1994), “Are There Universal Aspects in the Content and Structure of Values?”, Journal of Social Issues, 50(4): 19-45.

Schwartz, S.H. (2006), “Measuring Changing Value Orientations Across Nations”, in R. Jowell, C. Roberts, R. Fitzgerald and G. Eva (eds.), Measuring Attitudes Cross-nationally – Lessons from the European Social Survey, London: Sage, pp. 169-213.

Stouffer, S. (1955), Communism, Conformity, and Civil Liberties, New York: Doubleday.

Semyonov, M., Raijman, R. and Gorodzeisky, A. (2006), “The rise of anti-foreigner sentiment in European societies, 1988-2000”, American Sociological Review, 71(3): 426-449.

Sullivan J.L., G.E. Marcus, S. Feldman, and J.E. Pierson (1981), “The Sources of Political Tolerance: A Multivariate Analysis”, American Political Science Review, 75(1): 92-106.

Triandis, H.C., L. M. Triandis (1972), “Some studies of social distance”, in J.C. Brigham and T.A. Weissbach (eds.), Racial attitudes in America, New York: Harper and Row.

Valbruzzi, M. (2019), “Issues and themes”, in L. Ceccarini, J.L. Newell (eds.), The Italian General Elections of 2018. Italy in Uncharted Territory, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 167-190.

Vezzoni, C. (2018), “Immigrazione e insicurezza economica nelle urne”, in ITANES, Vox populi. Il voto ad alta voce del 2018, Bologna: Il Mulino, pp.147-163.


Full Text: PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribuzione - Non commerciale - Non opere derivate 3.0 Italia License.