Perceived threat, contact and attitudes towards the integration of immigrants.

Evidence from Luxembourg

Bart Meuleman, Marie Valentova, Marie-Sophie Callens

This paper examines the relation between perceptions of immigrant-related threat and the attitudes towards the integration (i.e. assimilation and multiculturalism) of immigrants. Additionally it explores how that relationship is affected by intense contact with foreigners. The analysis is performed on a sample of natives in Luxembourg – the country with the highest proportion of immigrants in Europe. The European Values Study from 2008 for Luxembourg and Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used to conduct the analyses.
The outcomes of our analyses reveal that feelings of threat lead to less support for multicultural attitudes, whereas the opposite can be found with respect to support for assimilation attitudes. Furthermore, it was found that more intense contact with immigrant friends significantly reduces the threat perceptions and therefore also leads to less support for assimilation and more support for multicultural attitudes. Lastly, more contact with immigrants also has direct effects on integration preferences.


Callens, M.‑S., Meuleman, B. & Valentova, M. (2015). Perceived threat, contact and attitudes towards the integration of immigrants.: Evidence from Luxembourg (Working Papers du CEPS/INSTEAD Nr. 01). Esch/Alzette. Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER); University of Leuven.

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