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Attitudes Towards Immigration and Ethnic Diversity in Minority Nations

RT03
Antoine Bilodeau
Concordia University
Luc Turgeon
University of Ottawa
Open Section

Friday 14:00 - 15:30 (28/08/2015)

Building: Jean-Brillant Floor: 2 Room: B-2245

Abstract

Growing international migration constitutes a tremendous challenge for contemporary democracies, no more so than for minority nations. Among the challenges, in many cases, is for the latter to convince immigrants to adopt a language that is only spoken by a minority of the population of their new country. The challenge is not, however, only one of integration of immigrants. It is also, in some cases, one of acceptance of immigration from the native-born population. Since minority nations often stress their unique culture and language, newcomers who speak different languages and have different cultural traits may be perceived as a cultural threat, contributing to anti-immigrant backlash. Moreover, considering that newcomers are often more likely to express loyalty to the central state than the subnational one (Bilodeau et al. 2010), they may be viewed as a political threat by those among the native-born population that support independence of the minority nation. We currently know too little about what accounts for the attitudes of citizens towards immigration in minority nations. More specifically, few studies have explored the respective impact of factors such as national identity, feelings of cultural threats or support for independence on attitudes towards immigration (although see Escandell and Ceobanu, 2009; Turgeon and Bilodeau, 2014) This Roundtable will focus on the following questions: Do population in minority nations entertain positive or negative attitudes toward immigration and ethnic diversity more broadly? What factors structure attitudes toward immigration in minority nations? And are such factors different than factors structuring attitudes toward immigration in majority nations? The Roundtable will start with a presentation by A. Bilodeau and L. Turgeon based on a new study on attitudes toward immigration and ethnic diversity in Quebec. This study is drawn from the Provincial Diversity Project, a survey of 10,000 Canadians from all provinces, including oversamples of young Canadians from all regions. The survey contains a rich battery of questions on attitudes toward immigration and ethnic diversity as well as key variables to potentially understand the roots of such attitudes in the context of minority nations such as Quebec. Three other participants will share their expertise, reflection and own research findings on the topic in other countries/regions and also react to the findings presented by A. Bilodeau and L. Turgeon. Eve Hepburn (Edinburgh): immigration in Scotland Xavier Escandell (University of Northern Iowa): migration, ethnicity and nationalism in Europe more specifically focused on Spain Alain-G Gagnon (UQAM): Québec and ethnic diversity

Title Details
Migration, Ethnicity and Nationalism in Europe, more specifically focused on Spain View Paper Details
Québec and Ethnic Diversity View Paper Details