Title: Television and Anti-Immigrant Sentiments: The Mediating Role of Fear of Crime and Perceived Ethnic Diversity
Authors: Jacobs, Laura
Hooghe, Marc
de Vroome, Thomas
Issue Date: 3-Sep-2014
Conference: ECPR General Conference edition:8 location:Glasgow date:3-6 September 2014
ISPP Conference location:Rome date:4-7 July 2014
Abstract: Previous research has established a strong correlation between fear of crime and anti-immigrant sentiments. In this paper, we explore the role of television in explaining
individual differences in fear of crime, perceived ethnic diversity and levels of anti-immigrant sentiments. We use the ‘Social Cohesion Indicators in Flanders’ (SCIF) data, a
representative survey in the Flemish region of Belgium, combined with real life indicators of ethnic diversity and crime at the community level. Results of a multilevel Structural Equation Model (SEM) suggest that watching television is positively associated with fearof crime and perceived ethnic diversity, which in turn is associated with anti-immigrant sentiments. Preference for public television is, however, associated with lower anti-immigrant sentiments, perceived ethnic diversity and fear of crime levels. Real crime and ethnic diversity levels are only weakly related to anti-immigrant sentiments. We conclude that especially perceptions are important in influencing anti-immigrant sentiments and that television plays a substantial role in shaping these perceptions.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Centre for Political Research

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