Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie vol:66 issue:S1 pages:263-285
During the last decade, many European countries have faced sizeable immigration inflows accompanied by high prevalence of negative sentiments toward immigrants among majority members of the host societies. We propose that basic human values are one important determinant of such negative attitudes, and we seek to explain variation across countries in the strength of the effects of values. Based on Schwartz’ (1992, 1994) basic human value theory, we hypothesize that universalism values are conducive to positive attitudes toward immigration, while conformity-tradition reinforce anti-immigration sentiments. We furthermore hypothesize that these value effects are moderated by two contextual variables. Both value effects are expected to be weaker in countries with a higher level of cultural embeddedness. Furthermore, negative effects of conformity-tradition values are hypothesized to be cushioned by a lower proportion of immigrants in the country. A multilevel analysis of data from 24 countries from the fourth round of the European Social Survey (2008–2009) supports these hypotheses. Moreover, we demonstrate that the measurement properties of the theoretical constructs exhibit equivalence across countries, thereby justifying statistical comparisons.