Group Conflict Theory in a Longitudinal Perspective: Analysing the Dynamic and Structural Side of Inter-Ethnic Competition
27 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2010 Last revised: 27 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
One of the most established approaches to explain attitudes towards immigration is group conflict theory. However, even though the theory was originally articulated in dynamic terms, previous research has almost exclusively tested it through cross-sectional analyses. Our aim in this paper is to disentangle the dynamic and context-dependent character of ethnic competition from more permanent and structural perceptions of ethnic threat. We do this by estimating fixed and randomeffects logistic regression using the German Socio-Economic Panel. Our findings suggest that a remarkable variance of anti-immigrant attitudes, attributed in previous research to structural positions of social-economic vulnerability, almost vanishes when temporal within-individual variance is modelled. More specifically, a real (rather than expected) and involuntary economic shock like becoming unemployed and being fired has a strong effect on concerns over immigration. Moreover, this effect does not differ across social class.
Keywords: group conflict theory, attitudes toward immigration, longitudinal analysis, economic shocks, Germany
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