Drouhot, L. G., Schönwälder, K., Petermann, S., & Vertovec, S. (2023). Who supports refugees? Diversity assent and pro-refugee engagement in Germany
Comparative Migration Studies, 11: 4. doi:10.1186/s40878-023-00327-2

Abstract: During the 2015 “summer of welcome”, the mass arrival of refugees to Germany triggered widely publicised acts of pro-refugee solidarity among citizens. To date, scholarship has largely focused on hostility towards immigrants—including refugees-, and few studies shed light on the determinants of acceptance, so that refugee solidarity remains poorly understood. In this paper, we hypothesise that pro-refugee engagement does not just reflect humanitarian concerns, but also a more general acceptance of socio-cultural diversity in German society. Relying on unique survey data gathered in 2019–2020, we show that a majority of urban Germans indeed engaged in some form of support. We employ latent class analysis to capture the spectrum of diversity attitudes within the urban population. A series of regression models show that diversity attitudes are powerful predictors of pro-refugee engagement. Overall, our study helps advancing immigration scholarship by demonstrating that widespread support for refugees is strongly associated with more general diversity assent. more
The “Diversity Assent” (DivA) Survey – Technical Report
by Lucas Drouhot (Utrecht University · The Netherlands), Sören Petermann (Ruhr Universität Bochum), Karen Schönwälder (MPI-MMG), and Steven Vertovec (MPI-MMG)

Working Papers WP 21-20
November 2021

ISSN 2192-2357 (MMG Working Papers Print)
Full text: pdf

Abstract: How do people living in contemporary Germany react to diversification in their everyday life? What undergirds pro-diversity perspectives among those who live in rapidly diversifying cities? Conversely, what are their limits, and what groups are excluded? The Diversity Assent (DivA) project was designed to understand the foundations and mechanisms underlying the acceptance of socio-demographic heterogeneity on multiple dimensions in cities located both in West and East Germany. Two core motivations underlie the project. So far, we insufficiently understand what motivates those who oppose right-wing positions – usually a majority among inhabitants of cities in Germany and other Western European countries. Second, this project builds on a previous large-scale project of the Socio-Cultural Diversity department at MPI-MMG, “Diversity and Contact”. In particular, it explores to what extent attitudes and patterns of interaction have changed, or remained constant, in the decade from 2010 to 2020, which was a time of major ruptures and political polarization. We designed a large telephone survey of 2,917 respondents asking a set of interrelated questions on dispositions towards diversity, everyday experiences and diversification dynamics. This includes a set of survey experiments designed to tap and measure social norms of tolerance. This report presents technical aspects of the survey relevant to interested users of the DivA Dataset.    more
Drouhot, L. G., Petermann, S., Schönwälder, K., & Vertovec, S. (2020). Has the Covid-19 pandemic undermined public support for a diverse society? Evidence from a natural experiment in Germany
Ethnic and Racial Studies. doi:10.1080/01419870.2020.1832698

Abstract: The Covid-19 pandemic has led to widespread worries that the health crisis is resulting in generalized hostility towards minorities and reduced support for a diverse society. Relying on a large survey of diversity attitudes in Germany fielded before and during the pandemic, we employ a quasi-experimental design to evaluate whether such a trend has occurred among the general public. Past work suggests two competing expectations – one anticipating a rise in hostility grounded in threat theories, and one anticipating stability grounded in public opinion research and theories of longer-term value change. Empirical results reveal generally high assent to socio-demographic diversity and minority accommodation, and remarkable stability during the pandemic period. Additionally, survey vignettes show strong and equally stable anti-discrimination norms that are inclusive of Asian-origin populations. Overall, results suggest that surges in racist incidents during the pandemic do not reflect analogous surges in hostility within the population at large. more
Diversity and Contact. Immigration and Social Interaction in German Cities
K. Schönwälder, S. Petermann, J. Hüttermann, S. Vertovec, M. Hewstone, D. Stolle, K. Schmid, Th. Schmitt
Series: Global Diversities This book analyzes how the socio-demographic and cultural diversity of societies affect the social interactions and attitudes of individuals and groups within them. Focusing on Germany, where in some cities more than one third of the population are first or second-generation immigrants, it examines how this phenomenon impacts on the ways in which urban residents interact, form friendships, and come to trust or resent each other. The authors, a distinguished team of sociologists, political scientists, social psychologists, anthropologists and geographers, present the results of their wide-ranging empirical research, which combines a 3-wave-panel survey, qualitative fieldwork, area explorations and analysis of official data. In doing so, they offer representative findings and deeper insights into how residents experience different neighbourhood contexts. Their conclusions are a significant contribution to our understanding of the implications of immigration and diversity, and of the conditions and consequences of intergroup interaction. This ground-breaking work will appeal to scholars across the Social Sciences.

1st ed. 2016, XIII, 312 p. 53 illus., 3 illus. in color.
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