Does European citizenship breed xenophobia? European identification as a predictor of intolerance towards immigrants
Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2002
Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology
Volume 12, Issue 5, pages 323–337, September/October 2002
How to Cite
Licata, L. and Klein, O. (2002), Does European citizenship breed xenophobia? European identification as a predictor of intolerance towards immigrants. J. Community. Appl. Soc. Psychol., 12: 323–337. doi: 10.1002/casp.684
- Issue online: 5 SEP 2002
- Version of Record online: 26 JUL 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 JUN 2002
- social identity;
- social discrimination;
The European Union is generally perceived as endorsing universalistic and multi-cultural values. However, social identity and self-categorization theories predict that, when certain conditions are met, a negative relation between ingroup identification and tolerance towards outgroup members should be observed. We argue that the creation of the status of ‘Citizen of the Union’ in Maastricht may contribute to meeting those conditions and therefore to increase intolerance towards resident foreigners. If that is the case, a paradoxical situation could emerge, in which people's levels of tolerance towards foreigners would contradict group values. We examined the relations between values associated with Europe, European and national identification, and tolerance towards foreigners through a survey study with a—non-representative—sample of undergraduate French-speaking Belgian students. Results show that Europe was generally associated with humanistic values. But they also reveal that strong European identifiers tended to express more xenophobic attitudes than weak European identifiers, whilst national identification was not related with such attitudes. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.