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Diversity and Perceptions of Immigration: How the Past Influences the Present
journal contributionposted on 2021-01-18, 17:22 authored by Lauren McLaren, Anya Neundorf, Ian Paterson
The question of whether high immigration produces anti-immigration hostility has vexed researchers across multiple disciplines for decades. And yet, understanding this relationship is crucial for countries dependant on immigrant labour but concerned about its impact on social cohesion. Absent from most of this research are theories about the impact of early-years socialisation conditions on contemporary attitudes. Using the British sample of the European Social Survey (2002–2017) and two innovative approaches to modelling generational differences – generalised additive models and hierarchical age‒period‒cohort models – this paper shows that rather than producing hostility to immigration, being socialised in a context of high immigrant-origin diversity is likely to result in more positive attitudes to immigration later in life. This implies that through generational replacement, countries like the UK are likely to become increasingly tolerant of immigration over time. Importantly, however, a context of high-income inequality may diminish this effect.
Author affiliationDepartment of Politics and International Relations
- VoR (Version of Record)