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Social Engagement and Immigration Attitudes: Panel Survey Evidence from Germany



This article asks how social engagement influences individuals' immigration concerns. Rates of volunteering, churchgoing, socializing, and helping others are used to predict anti-immigration sentiments. Panel survey data from Germany makes a dynamic “conditional change” modeling strategy possible; lagged immigration views are included in models to reveal the predictors of over time developments. The most robust findings signal that frequent church attendance reduces immigration concerns; routinely helping others enhances them. And in both instances, these relationships are conditioned by the presence of immigrants in the residential area. Overall, the results position social participation in certain activities as important factors that shape people's views on immigration.