This study attempts to further our understanding of the contextual sources of anti-immigrant sentiments by simultaneously examining the impact of immigrant group size, negative immigration-related news reports and their interaction on natives' perceived group threat. We test our theoretical assumptions using repeated cross-sectional survey data from Spain during the time period 1996–2007, enriched with regional statistics on immigrant group size and information from a longitudinal content analysis of newspaper reports. Drawing on multilevel regression models, our findings show that a greater number of negative immigration-related news reports increases perceived group threat over and above the influence of immigrant group size. Additionally, our findings indicate that the impact of negative immigration-related news reports on perceived group threat is amplified (weakened) in regions with a smaller (larger) immigrant group size. Collectively, these results testify to the importance of immigrant group size and negative immigration-related news reports as key contextual sources of natives' perceived group threat.
The European Social Survey (ESS) is a biennial, academically driven, cross-sectional, pan-European social survey that charts and explains the interactions between Europe's changing institutions and the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour patterns of its diverse populations. As part of the seventh round of the ESS, we successfully developed a rotating module that provides a comprehensive and comparative pan-European data set on the social determinants of health and health inequalities. In this article, we present the rationale for the module, the health outcomes, and social determinants that were included, and some of the opportunities that the module provide for advancing research into explaining the distribution and aetiology of social inequalities in health in Europe. Thus far, no health survey has had sufficient data on the stratification system of societies, including rich data on living conditions, and there is no sociological survey with sufficient variety of lifestyle factors and health outcomes. By including unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, childhood conditions, housing conditions, working conditions, and variables describing access to healthcare, together with an extensive set of mental and physical health outcomes, the ESS has strengthened its position tremendously as a data source for sociologists wanting to perform European cross-national analyses of health inequalities.
The aim of this article is to estimate the impact of various factors related to role conflict theory and preference theory on the reduction of women's labour force participation after their transition to parenthood. Objective and subjective dimensions of women's labour force participation are assessed. The empirical test is based on a survey of couples with children in Switzerland. Results show that compared to structural factors associated with role conflict reduction, preferences have little impact on mothers' labour force participation, but explain a good deal of their frustration if the factual situation does not correspond to their wishes. Structural factors, such as occupation, economic resources, childcare, and an urban environment, support mothers' labour force participation, whereas active networks and a home centred lifestyle preference help them to cope with frustrations.
In this article, we analyse the ritual of null hypothesis significance testing among the European sociologists. The focus is on the distinction between statistical significance and substantive, sociological significance. We review all articles published in the European Sociological Review between 2000-2004 and 2010-2014 that use regression models (N = 356). Our main aim is to determine whether the authors discuss the effect size of their findings and distinguish substantive from statistical significance. We apply a five-item questionnaire to each article and find that about half of the articles erroneously interpret a statistically insignificant coefficient as a zero effect, while only one in three engage in a discussion of the substantive meaning of the effect sizes. Moreover, our findings show a negative trend in the practice of significance testing over the past 15 years. These results are similar to those of the comparable review in the field of economics. We conclude by providing a set of recommendations on how to reduce the misuse of significance testing in sociological research, through an informed benchmarking of the findings.
Based on an innovative design, combining a multi-factorial survey experiment with a longitudinal perspective, we examine changes in the public acceptance of immigrants in Germany from the beginning of the so-called 'migration crisis' to after the sexual assaults of New Year's Eve (NYE) 2015/2016. In contrast to previous studies investigating similar research questions, our approach allows to differentiate changes along various immigrant characteristics. Derived from discussions making up the German immigration discourse during this time, we expect reduced acceptance especially of those immigrants who were explicitly connected to the salient events, like Muslims and the offenders of NYE. Most strikingly, we find that refugees were generally highly accepted and even more so in the second wave, whereas the acceptance of immigrants from Arab or African countries further decreased. Moreover, female respondents' initial preference for male immigrants disappeared. Contrary to our expectations, we find no changes in the acceptance of Muslims. We conclude that (i) public opinion research is well advised to match the particular political and social context under investigation to a fitting outcome variable to adequately capture the dynamics of anti-immigrant sentiment and that (ii) the vividly discussed upper limits for refugees seem to be contrary to public demands according to our data.
In this article we pursue, using appropriate British birth cohort data, various issues that arise from recent research into the 'direct' effect of social origins on individuals' social mobility chances: i.e. the effect that is not mediated by education and that can be seen as giving rise to non-meritocratic 'glass floors' and 'glass ceilings'. We show that if educational level is determined at labour market entry, class destinations are significantly associated with class origins independently of education. However, we go on to investigate how far the direct effect may be underestimated by an insufficiently comprehensive treatment of social origins, and also how far it may be overestimated by a failure to take into account the effects of later-life education and resulting changes in individuals' relative qualification levels. Finally, having arrived at our best estimates of the extent of the direct effect, we seek to identify factors that mediate it. While individuals' cognitive ability and sense of locus of control prove to play some part, reported parental help in the labour market does not appear to be of any great importance. Some implications of our findings both for further research and for the ideal of an education-based meritocracy are considered.
Men have historically attained more education than women, but this gender imbalance in education has reversed in many countries. In recent cohorts, the wife typically has as much as or more education than the husband. Using data from the European Union's Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (N = 95,389 for 27 countries), this article investigates to what extent the newly emerging pattern of educational assortative mating is associated with a higher proportion of women who out-earn their partners in Europe. We find that this proportion varies on the country level between 20 per cent and almost 50 per cent for childless women and is generally much lower for women with small children. However, if a woman is better educated than her partner, this clearly increases the odds that she earns more than half of the couple's joint earnings. This happens to such an extent that it reduces the effect of motherhood on the wife's relative earnings: college-educated mothers of school-age children with less educated partners are nearly as likely to be main breadwinners as college-educated childless women in a homogamous union.
Previous research has documented that unemployed job applicants have problems re-entering the labour market, commonly referred to as scarring effects of unemployment. Studies have also documented ethnic discrimination in the labour market. Yet, we do not know how these categories jointly shape employers hiring decisions. Thus, we do not know if unemployed minorities face an additive or a multiplicative disadvantage in hiring processes. Building on experimental data from two waves of a randomized field experiment, we test whether we find an ethnic scarring effect, which would imply that contemporary long-term unemployment is particularly harmful to native-born ethnic minorities. As expected, our experiment documents scarring effects of contemporary long-term unemployment. We also found, as expected, systematically lower call-backs for applicants with Pakistani/Muslim names. Also, our results show that unemployed minorities face an additive disadvantage in the labour market. Thus, we find no evidence of an ethnic scarring effect of unemployment, which would imply different consequences of unemployment for minority and majority applicants.
The emergence of large-scale cooperation in humans poses a major puzzle for the social and behavioural sciences. Reputation formation—individuals’ ability to share information about others’ deeds and misdeeds—has been found to promote cooperation. However, these findings are mostly based on small-scale laboratory and field experiments or on data gathered from online markets embedded in functioning legal systems. Using a unique data set of transactions in a cryptomarket for illegal drugs, we analyse the effect of buyers’ ratings of finished transactions on sellers’ business success. Cryptomarkets are online marketplaces in the so-called Dark Web, which can only be accessed by means of encryption software that conceals users’ identities and locations. The encryption technology makes it virtually impossible for law enforcement to intervene in these market exchanges. We find that sellers with a better rating history charge higher prices and sell their merchandise faster than sellers with no or a bad rating history. Our results demonstrate how reputation creates real incentives for cooperative behaviour at a large scale, in the absence of law enforcement and among anonymous actors with doubtful intentions. Our results thus challenge the institutional and social embeddedness of actors as necessary preconditions for the emergence of social order in markets.
This article investigates how employers interpret participation in labour market programmes when assessing job candidates. We hypothesize that employers use programme participation to sort applicants. On the basis of a factorial survey experiment, we simulated the recruitment process for two positions requiring different skills in the hotel sector. Recruiters were asked to evaluate fictitious candidates who differ in their participation in active labour market programmes. Our results show that employers take programme participation into account when assessing a candidate. Its impact can be positive or negative depending on the candidate's distance from the labour market. Candidates more distant from the labour market are evaluated better if they have participated in a programme. For stronger candidates, instead, participation can act as a stigma and worsen the assessment made by the recruiter.
This paper deals with the diversity of contemporary family interactions and its consequences with regard to conjugal conflict, on the basis of a large and longitudinal survey on married and unmarried couples, conducted in Switzerland at the turn of the millennium. Using cluster analysis, we first define five types of conjugal interaction (Bastion, Companionship, Cocoon, Association, and Parallel). The types of conjugal interactions characterized by a strong emphasis on partners' autonomy trigger in the short term a significantly larger number of problems and conflicts. Conjugal dissatisfaction and separation are more likely in Associative and Parallel types of functioning. Overall, results show that conjugal modernity expresses itself through various models, each with specific functional consequences.
In research on fatherhood premiums and motherhood penalties in career-related outcomes, employers' discriminatory behaviours are often argued to constitute a possible explanation for observed gender gaps. However, there is as yet no conclusive evidence of such discrimination. Utilizing a field experiment design, we test (i) whether job applicants are subject to recruitment discrimination on the basis of their gender and parenthood status, and (ii) whether discrimination by gender and parenthood is conditional on the qualifications required by the job applied for. We applied for 2,144 jobs in the Swedish labour market, randomly assigning gender and parenthood status to fictitious job applicants. Based on the rate of callbacks, we do not find that employers practise systematic recruitment discrimination on the basis of the job applicants' gender or parental status, neither in relation to less qualified nor more highly qualified jobs.
In contemporary Western Europe, both scholars and the public discuss the consequences of a rising share of a comparatively religious Muslim population for societal coexistence. Yet we know surprisingly little about how religion and religiosity shape social relationships. Focusing on adolescents' friendship networks, we examine how religion and religiosity affect intra-and inter-group friendship choices. While youth should generally prefer to befriend peers of the same religion, this religious homophily should be more pronounced for highly than for less religious youth. Against the background of rising anti-Muslim attitudes in Europe, Christian and non-religious youth further may be particularly hesitant to befriend Muslim peers, and especially highly religious ones. We analysed three waves of German longitudinal friendship network data from ethnically diverse schools. Regarding intra-group friendships, while Muslim youth indeed preferred to befriend Muslim peers, Christian youth displayed no evidence of religious homophily. For Muslims, higher levels of religiosity further increased this preference. Regarding inter-group friendships, irrespective of their individual religiosity, Muslim youth were socially divided from their non-Muslim peers, as both Christian and nonreligious youth were reluctant to befriend Muslim peers. In sum, in the German context, religion itself rather than religiosity seems to matter most for adolescents' friendship choices.
Although girls outperform boys in academic achievement in general, boys still have an advantage in STEM fields in many countries. One possible explanation for the female disadvantage in maths and their under-representation in technical professions is culturally embedded beliefs about female inferiority and male superiority in maths and related disciplines. On the one hand, these beliefs can lead to different subject-specific investment strategies of female and male students. On the other hand, the presence of negative stereotypes about girls' lower competencies in maths in classrooms can hamper girls' performance via stereotype threat by their peers' expectation. Accordingly, not only the own beliefs are relevant but also the attitudes of classmates that can reinforce behaviour patterns of adolescents conforming the prevailing gender norms. Using data from the Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries, we investigate whether students' gender roles and norms and their classmates' attitudes towards gender norms bring forward stereotypical maths performance at school in Germany. Our results indicate a distinct gender differential in favour of boys. We find evidence that female students perform particularly worse in classrooms in which traditional masculinity norms are present, while in classrooms with no or low approval of these norms, no statistically significant gap is apparent.
This paper suggests that comparative economic success is influenced by political choices which themselves are linked to the competitive world system. Governments produce social order (or protection) as a territorially bounded public utility, which is seen as a productive force. Citizens invest a social order with differing degrees of legitimacy which is thus, via motivation, an important competitive resource. A multiple regression design covering 18 Western core societies over the postwar era is used to test whether legitimacy, operationalized as relative absence of mass political protest, has an effect on comparative overall economic performance once initial wealth, absolute and relative size of government and membership in trading blocs are controlled for. We find robust empirical evidence for a positive impact of legitimacy on growth in the postwar era. The study thus suggests additional support for the theory of the 'world market for protection', developed elsewhere to explain long-term economic success and societal convergence at the core of the world system.
Abstract The economic crisis in Europe since 2008 has led to high unemployment levels in several countries. Previous research suggests that becoming unemployed is a health risk, but is job loss and unemployment easier to cope with when unemployment is widespread? Using EU-SILC panel data (2010–2013), this study examines short-term effects of unemployment on self-rated health (SRH) in 25 European countries with diverging macroeconomic conditions. Ordinary least squares regressions show that the unemployed are in worse health than the employed throughout Europe. The association is reduced considerably, but remains significant in several countries when time-invariant personal characteristics are accounted for using individual-level fixed-effects models. Propensity score kernel matching shows that both being and becoming unemployed are associated with slightly worse SRH. There is a weak tendency towards less health effects of unemployment in countries where the experience is widely shared. In particular, countries with a very low unemployment rate stand out with larger health effects. The results overall suggest that a changed composition of the unemployed population is an important explanation for the weaker unemployment—health association in high-unemployment countries.
We study the importance of ancestry culture for female employment. To identify the separate importance of ancestry culture and institutions is difficult, as the factors are related to each other as well as to a host of potentially omitted factors. The epidemiological approach tries to separate culture and institutions by investigating outcomes of immigrants with different cultures living in the same institutional environment. We show that estimates from studies using this approach are likely to be biased upwards. Having access to very detailed registry data on the whole Norwegian population, we are able to rely on an extended epidemiological approach whereby we compare the outcomes of different sex, second-generation immigrant siblings. We find a robust effect of ancestry culture on female employment, but it is smaller than in previous studies.
This study investigates whether increased availability of low-cost, state-subsidized childcare for under 3-year-olds in Germany is associated with shorter employment interruptions amongst mothers. By focusing on a major childcare reform in East and West Germany, we examine the effect in two contexts that differ markedly in the acceptance and use of formal childcare and maternal employment. We combine rich longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (2006-2014) with annual administrative county-level data on the availability of low-cost, state-subsidized childcare, estimating event history models. The results indicate that increased childcare availability for under 3-year-olds reduces mothers' employment interruptions, particularly after a second childbirth, and increases the probability of returning to part-time or full-time employment as opposed to marginal employment. Furthermore, increased availability of low-cost, state-subsidized childcare increases mothers' likelihood of returning to employment in the second year after childbirth, when paid leave entitlements expire and the availability of childcare becomes important. However, our results are only statistically significant for West German mothers and only after the birth of a second child. The study extends the literature on women's return-to-work behaviour by providing evidence on the medium-term impact of family policy on the duration of mothers' employment interruptions.
Abstract A large body of literature has provided mixed results on the impact of welfare retrenchments on government support. This article examines whether the impact of welfare retrenchments can be explained by proximity, i.e. whether or not the retrenched policy is related to people's everyday lives. To overcome limitations in previous studies, the empirical approach utilizes a natural experiment with data from the European Social Survey collected concurrently with a salient retrenchment reform of the education grant system in Denmark. The results confirm that people proximate to a welfare policy react substantially stronger to retrenchment reforms than the general public. Robustness and placebo tests further show that the results are not caused by non-personal proximities or satisfaction levels not related to the reform and the government. In sum, the findings speak to a growing body of literature interested in the impact of government policies on mass public.
Our article assesses the role of information barriers for patterns of educational participation and related social inequalities in plans for Higher Education (HE). Using longitudinal data, we investigate student expectations about the profitability of HE, their evolution over time and their correlation with study plans among Italian high school seniors. We find that student believes are highly inaccurate, systematically biased and poorly updated. Then, we present estimates of the causal effect of information barriers on educational plans based on a large-scale clustered randomized experiment. We designed a counseling intervention to correct student misperceptions of the profitability of HE and assessed whether treated students' plans changed differentially relative to a control group. The intervention was quite effective in correcting student misperceptions, but this did not translate into increased intentions to enroll in university education. However, the treatment affected preferences between fields of study, between short and long university paths, and between university and vocationally oriented programs. Hence, information barriers affect substantially the internal differentiation of HE and the related horizontal inequalities by gender and family background.