Size does matter: the relationship between perceived immigrant group size and attitudes towards foreign nationals

Show simple item record 2022-08-17T12:55:08Z 2022-08-17T12:55:08Z 2020-09-03 en
dc.description.abstract Over the last two decades, there has been a considerable influx of foreign nationals into South Africa. Some scholars and politicians have linked the growing number of foreign nationals to negative attitudes towards immigrants. Anti-immigrant sentiment represents a major problem in South Africa, undermining social cohesion and exacerbating tensions with neighbouring countries. At this stage, an essential question that must be asked is - how many international migrants does the public think that there are. Responding to this question provokes an even more important one, namely how do public beliefs about the size of the international migrant population influence attitudes towards foreign nationals? This article examines lay beliefs about the number of international migrants in the country and how these affect anti-immigrant sentiments. This study examines the attitudes of adults (16 years and older) over the 2003-2018 period to understand how public perceptions towards foreigners have changed. Representative data from the South African Social Attitudes Survey series (N= 45 047) is used for this examination. Multivariate analysis is then undertaken to determine how beliefs about immigrant group size affect attitudes towards foreign nationals. The trend data suggest that hostility towards international migrants has not increased over the period. Most are misinformed about the number of foreign nationals living in the country. Overestimations of the international immigrant stock were found to increase the likelihood of antipathy towards foreign nationals, even after controlling for socio-economic characteristics. The findings suggest that attitudes towards international immigrants would be improved if ordinary people were more well-informed about immigration. en
dc.format.medium Print en
dc.subject PUBLIC OPINION en
dc.subject XENOPHOBIA en
dc.subject GROUP BEHAVIOUR en
dc.subject GROUPS en
dc.subject IMMIGRANTS en
dc.title Size does matter: the relationship between perceived immigrant group size and attitudes towards foreign nationals en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.description.version Y en
dc.ProjectNumber NA en
dc.Volume 20(1) en
dc.BudgetYear 2020/21 en
dc.ResearchGroup Developmental, Capable and Ethical State en
dc.SourceTitle Southern African Journal of Demography en
dc.ArchiveNumber 11499 en
dc.PageNumber 28-56 en
dc.outputnumber 10658 en
dc.bibliographictitle Gordon, S., Roberts, B., Struwig, J., Mchunu, N., Mtyingizane, S. & Zondi, T. (2020) Size does matter: the relationship between perceived immigrant group size and attitudes towards foreign nationals. Southern African Journal of Demography. 20(1):28-56. en
dc.publicationyear 2020 en
dc.contributor.author1 Gordon, S. en
dc.contributor.author2 Roberts, B. en
dc.contributor.author3 Struwig, J. en
dc.contributor.author4 Mchunu, N. en
dc.contributor.author5 Mtyingizane, S. en
dc.contributor.author6 Zondi, T. en

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