Are some immigrants more equal than others? Applying a Threat-Benefit Model to understanding the appraisal of different immigrant groups by the local population

Eugene Tartakovsky, Sophie D. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study examines the applicability of the Threat-Benefit Model as a means of conceptualising and measuring appraisal of diverse immigrant groups by a local population. A representative sample of adult Jewish Israelis (n = 1600, 52% women, mean age = 44.2) was used to examine locals’ attitudes toward four groups of immigrants: diaspora immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, Ethiopia and western countries (the US, UK, and France) and asylum seekers. The results obtained indicated that the patterns of appraisal of asylum seekers and diaspora immigrants by the local population differed substantially. Appraisal of asylum seekers was characterised by multi-domain negativity, which, in several domains, was not consistent with the group’s socio-demographic characteristics. Contrary to that, appraisal of diaspora immigrants demonstrated variability across different domains, which mainly coincided with the groups’ socio-demographic characteristics. Socio-demographic characteristics of members of the receiving society explained only a small proportion of variance in their appraisal of immigrants, thus suggesting a high level of societal consensus in appraising different immigrant groups. However, a lower level of religiosity was associated with a higher appraisal of most immigrant groups as beneficial and their lower appraisal as threatening for the receiving society. The present study advances scientific knowledge by shedding light on the processes related to intergroup relations in the context of immigration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3955-3973
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume46
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Threat-Benefit Model
  • asylum seekers
  • attitude towards immigrants
  • diaspora immigrants
  • local population

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