Popular Nationalism, Intergroup Attitudes and the Moderating Role of Ethnicity

Manuscript in Preparation

By Sakeef M. Karim


Research in social and political psychology suggests that widespread attachments to the nation can breed unity in multiethnic societies. The present study complicates this view by positing that associations between national identification and intergroup attitudes will move in different directions and vary in magnitude depending on (1) how an individual defines the bounds of nationhood (i.e., their national membership criteria), which cannot be disentangled from their national attachments in empirical settings; and (2) an individual’s ethnic location. To evaluate these propositions, I examine whether the association between nation-state schemas (discrete configurations of national attachments and membership criteria) and intergroup attitudes (outgroup affect, ingroup affect, ingroup favoritism) is moderated by ethnicity. To this end, I use panel data from Germany, mixture hidden Markov models, and a series of mixed-effects regressions. Ultimately, I find that schemas of the nation that feature high levels of national identification and restrictive national membership criteria are exclusionary for natives but inclusionary for the children of immigrants. Conversely, thinner sets of nationalist beliefs map onto exclusionism among minorities and inclusiveness among natives. Taken together, these results suggest that similar kinds of nationalist beliefs are associated with different types of membership claims across ethnic lines.

Posted on:
May 4, 2024
1 minute read, 198 words
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