Television and anti-immigrant sentiments: the mediating role of fear of crime and perceived ethnic diversity

Laura Jacobs, Marc Hooghe, Thomas de Vroome
2017 European Societies: The Official Journal of the European Sociological Association  
Previous research has established a strong correlation between fear of crime and antiimmigrant sentiments. In this paper, we explore the role of television in explaining individual differences in fear of crime, perceived ethnic diversity and levels of antiimmigrant sentiments. We use the 'Social Cohesion Indicators in Flanders' (SCIF) data, a representative survey in the Flemish region of Belgium, combined with real life indicators of ethnic diversity and crime at the community level. Results
more » ... a multilevel Structural Equation Model (SEM) suggest that watching television is positively associated with fear of crime and perceived ethnic diversity, which in turn is associated with anti-immigrant sentiments. Preference for public television is, however, associated with lower antiimmigrant sentiments, perceived ethnic diversity and fear of crime levels. Real crime and ethnic diversity levels are only weakly related to anti-immigrant sentiments. We conclude that especially perceptions are important in influencing anti-immigrant sentiments and that television plays a substantial role in shaping these perceptions.
doi:10.1080/14616696.2017.1290264 fatcat:pl2go5plobep7j5tlcnlf2tk5a