ITEM METADATA RECORD
Title: Community Structure and Ethnocentrism. A Multilevel Approach: A case Study of Flanders (Belgium)
Authors: Bircan, Tuba
Issue Date: 3-May-2012
Abstract: While ethnocentrism and racism have become a highly prominent political issue in Belgium, achieving less ethnocentric prejudice has become one of the main policy priorities of the Belgian government. This research aims determining how different leading social cohesion indicators contribute to the explanation of since a full understanding of negative attitudes toward immigrants can thus not be gained without taking macro-sociological elements into account. In our study, ethnocentrism is investigated from both the individual and contextual perspectives and a multilevel analysis approach is followed where group conflict theory is taken as the hypothetical approach. Another point intended by this study is to compare the roles of objective (structural) and subjective (perceived) threats in anticipating individuals’ ethnocentric attitudes.The body of the research is divided into two parts: the first shed light on the inter-related community characteristics, by name immigration, economic features and crime; and in the second part the ethnocentrism levels of individuals are intended to be explained by several measures of contextual indicators, respectively. With respect to our findings in the first part suggest strong concentration effects. However, we cannot currently make any statements about causal mechanisms at the community level. We first argue that socio-economic differences, and especially unemployment, rather than ethnic diversity, should be the focus of future attempts to explain social disorganisation and criminal behaviour. Although we cannot currently make any statements about the causal mechanisms linking crime and economic disadvantages, we can mention the role of crime prevention policies in taking unemployment more strongly into consideration than has been the case thus far.Moving from community-level analysis to a multilevel approach, group conflict theory served as an important connecting thread in this research project. Hierarchical linear modelling is employed to confer the impacts of macro-level relations on micro-level indicators of ethnocentric attitudes in Flanders, based on the data from the Social Cohesion Indicators in Flanders Survey. The data presented confirm certain aspects of this theoretical framework. Nevertheless, very strong evidence is found for the contention that context does not always matter for anti-immigrant attitudes. Perceived threats, such as the perceived presence of ethnic minority groups and feelings of safety are found to be more important factors in explaining ethnocentric attitudes.In short words, the importance of subjective motives stands out in explaining ethnocentric attitudes. Principally, how people perceive community characteristics is the salient driver for anti-immigrant sentiment. The structural aspects that can account for creating competition and conflict between groups failed to be important factors in determining ethnocentrism. The characteristics of individuals can be tied to anti-immigrant attitudes. Above all, as ‘perceptions’ stand out by eliminating theimpact of structural factors, the sources of these ‘perceptions’ need comprehensive consideration. Conflict theory suggests that the existence of threat, whether structural or imaginary, empowers negative attitudes toward immigrants. In our study, we found that threats in people’s minds are much stronger than structural ones. We believe that future research should involve deeper studies in order to determine the actual factors leading to the formation of ‘threat perception’. In this way, it will be possible to comment on situations where the absence of a structural threat has no impact on the erosion of perceived threats in individuals’ imaginations.
Table of Contents: CONTENT

List of Tables v

List of Figures vii

Acknowledgements ix

Chapter 1. Introduction 1

Chapter 2. Explaining Ethnocentrism 9
2.1. A Theoretical Introduction to the Concept of Ethnocentrism: Group Conflict Theory 11

Chapter 3. Data and Methodology 15
3.1. Data Sources 15
3.1.1. SCIF Survey 17
3.2. Measurement of Ethnocentrism in Flanders 19
3.2.1. Ethnocentrism Scale 19
3.3. Multilevel Modelling 22
3.3.1. Random Intercept Models 28
3.3.2. Software Used for Analysis 29

PART I: Interrelated Community Characteristics: The Case of Belgium 31

Chapter 4. The Two Faces of Diversity in the Flemish Region 35
4.1. Introduction 35
4.2. Historical Background 39
4.3. Ethnic Diversity 42
4.3.1. Belgium 43
4.3.2. Flanders 47
4.3.2.1. EU Nationals in Flanders 49
4.3.2.2. Non-EU Nationals in Flanders 51
4.3.2.2.1. Moroccans and Turks 52
4.4. Asylum Seekers 55
4.5. Expatriates and Foreign Students 58
4.6. Acquisition and Granting of Belgian Nationality 60
4.7. Ethnic Fractionalization in Flanders 61
4.8. Discussion 66

Chapter 5. Economic Impacts of Migration 65
5.1. Introduction 67
5.2. Nexus of Immigration and Economic Factors 69
5.3. Hypotheses 71
5.4. Data and Methods 72
5.4.1. Building the Model 75
5.5. Results 76
5.6. Discussion 80

Chapter 6. Unemployment, Inequality, and Crime 81
6.1. Introduction 83
6.2. Unemployment and Economic Deprivation 86
6.3. Hypotheses 87
6.4. Data and Methods 90
6.4.1. Building the Model 91
6.5. Results 95
6.6. Discussion 97

Chapter 7. Immigration and Crime 99
7.1. Introduction 101
7.2. Diversity and Crime in the Social Disorganization Theory Context 103
7.3. Hypotheses 105
7.4. Data and Methods 106
7.4.1. Building the Model 110
7.5. Results 111
7.6. Discussion 115

PART II: Testing Group Conflict Theory: Effect of Community Structure on Ethnocentrism 117

Chapter 8. Diversity, Perception and Ethnocentrism 121
8.1. Introduction 123
8.2. Theoretical Framework 124
8.2.1. The Concept of Ethnocentrism 124
8.2.2. Group Conflict Theory and Outgroup Size 126
8.3. Hypotheses 129
8.4. Data and Methods 129
8.4.1. Concepts and Measurement 130
8.4.1.1. Ethnocentrism scale 131
8.4.1.2. Control Variables 132
8.4.2. Statistical Analyses: Multilevel Models 134
8.5. Results ……………………………………………………………………...137
8.6. Discussion 140

Chapter 9. The Impact of Economic Factors on Ethnocentrism 143
9.1. Introduction 145
9.2. Ethnocentrism and Group Conflict Theory 147
9.2.1. Economic factors and Attitude toward Immigrants 148
9.3. Hypotheses 149
9.4. Data and Methods 150
9.4.1. Concepts and Measurement 150
9.4.1.1. Ethnocentrism Scale 151
9.4.1.2. Subjective Economic Factors 151
9.4.1.3. Objective Economic Factors 152
9.4.1.4. Control Variables 153
9.4.2. Statistical Analyses: Multilevel Models 153
9.5. Results ………………………………………………………………….......154
9.6. Discussion 157



Chapter 10. The Impact of Safety on Levels of Ethnocentrism 159
10.1. Introduction 161
10.2. Ethnocentrism in the Context of Group Conflict Theory 163
10.2.1. Ethnocentrism and Feeling of Safety 167
10.3. Hypotheses 168
10.4. Data and Methods 169
10.4.1. Concepts and Measurement 170
10.4.1.1. Ethnocentrism Scale 170
10.4.1.2. Safety Measures 171
10.4.1.3. Control Variables 175
10.4.2. Statistical Analyses: Multilevel Models 176
10.5. Results 177
10.6. Discussion 181

Chapter 11. Conclusion 183
11.1. Summary of Discussions 185
11.2. Concluding Remarks and Future Research 191

References ……. 195
Abstracts…............................................................................................................................221
Appendix I. Variables used in analyses (in alphabetical order) 227
Appendix II. Doctoraten in de Sociale Wetenschappen ...................................................233
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Centre for Political Research

Files in This Item:
File Status SizeFormat
PhD_TBircan_Ethnocentrism and Community Structure.pdf Published 2788KbAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

These files are only available to some KU Leuven Association staff members

 




All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.