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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton June 8, 2019

Interpersonal discussions and immigration attitudes

  • Antonis Kalogeropoulos EMAIL logo and David Nicolas Hopmann
From the journal Communications


The antecedents of immigration attitudes have been extensively examined in academic research, in particular, with respect to media use and personal contact with immigrants. Research on the role of interpersonal discussions about the issue of immigration has been scarce, however. Results from a two-wave panel survey show that individuals holding unfavorable attitudes towards immigration engaged more often in interpersonal communication about immigration, which colored the overall effect of engaging in such discussions. The implications of these results are discussed in the concluding section.


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Table 1A:

Descriptive Statistics

Variable name


Descriptive statistics

Immigration attitudes wave 1

Users had to respond to 6 statements giving their answer on a 1–5 scale, ranging from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’: “Immigration is good for the labor market”, “Immigrants cause problems in the schools that their children attend”, “Immigrants enrich Danish culture”, “Immigrants misuse Danish social welfare”, “The religions of immigrants are a threat to our way of life”, “Immigrants from other EU-countries are expensive for the Danish society”.

M = 16.52, SD = 5.13 (values ranging from 6 to 30)

Immigration attitudes wave 2

M = 16.31, SD = 5.02

Discussion about immigration wave 1

“How often do you discuss immigration?” on a 1–5 scale (1 = never, 2= once a month or less, 3 = a couple of times per month, 4 = a couple of times per week, 5 = every day or almost every day)

M = 2.72, SD = 1.11

Discussion about immigration wave 2

M = 2.67, SD = 1.09

Media exposure

“During a typical week, how many days, if any, do you watch the ___ outlet?” (Scale ranging from 0–7 days.) Outlets: DR (public broadcaster), TV2 (private broadcaster), Politiken, Jyllandsposten, Berlingske, Borsen (broadsheet newspapers), Ekstra Bladet, B.T. (tabloid newspapers) and their websites. All news media exposure measures were added.

M = 19.58, SD = 11.47

Economic evaluations

A scale of four questions on egotropic, sociotropic, retrospective and prospective economic evaluations:

“How is your family’s financial situation compared to a year ago?”

“How do you think your family’s financial situation will be in about a year compared to today?”

“How do you think the economic situation for Denmark is today compared to a year ago?”

“How do you think the economic situation for Denmark will be in about a year compared to today?” Respondents could answer using a 1–5 scale (1= much worse, 2= somewhat worse, 3= unchanged, 4 = a little better, 5 = much better).

M = 12.43, SD = 2.12

Political interest

“How interested are you in politics?” (0–5 scale: very interested to very uninterested.)

M = 3.89, SD = .88


“Within politics, people sometimes talk about ‘left’ and ‘right’. Where would you place your views on a scale from 0 to 10, where ‘0’ means the extreme left, and ‘10’ means the extreme right?”

M = 6.15, SD 2.05

Published Online: 2019-06-08
Published in Print: 2019-06-07

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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