Differentiated threat and the genesis of prejudice: Group-specific antecedents of homonegativity, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant attitudes

Meuleman, B., Abts, K., Slootmaeckers, K. & Meeusen, C. (2017). Differentiated threat and the genesis of prejudice: Group-specific antecedents of homonegativity, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant attitudes. Social Problems,

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Abstract

In this article we argue that an exclusive focus on the generalized aspect of prejudice limits understanding of the structure and genesis of prejudice towards particular out-groups. In order to conceptualize the specific nature of particular prejudices, we propose the differentiated threat approach. This framework postulates that different out-groups challenge diverse realistic and symbolic interests, and that these out-group specific threats affect various socio-economic strata and cultural groups differentially.

The differentiated threat approach is applied to analyse majority-group Belgians’ attitudes towards immigrants, Muslims, Jews and homosexuals. The results show that a common denominator of prejudice can be distinguished, but that the prejudices towards the various out-groups contain substantively relevant unique components that are influenced by socio-demographic and attitudinal predictors in diverging ways. Gender traditionalism is found to reinforce homonegativity and temper Islamophobia at the same time. Feelings of relative deprivation are more strongly related to Islamophobia than to other forms of prejudice, and are unrelated to homonegativity. Religious involvement plays a more decisive role in the formation of antiSemitism and homonegativity than it does in the other forms of prejudice. Anti-immigration attitudes show a class gradient that is absent in attitudes towards other out-groups. Our results evidence that the concrete realization of attitudes towards a specific out-group cannot be understood without paying attention to structural and contextual factors, such as social positions, the nature of inter-group relations, power balances and elite discourses.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Social Problems following peer review. The version of record Meuleman, B., Abts, K., Slootmaeckers, K. & Meeusen, C. (2017). Differentiated threat and the genesis of prejudice: Group-specific antecedents of homonegativity, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant attitudes. Social Problems, will be available online at: http://socpro.oxfordjournals.org/
Uncontrolled Keywords: generalized prejudice, anti-Semitism, homonegativity, Islamophobia, differentiated threat approach
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of International Politics
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/18356

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