Xenophobia and immigrant contact: French public attitudes toward immigration

Seth K. Jolly, Gerald M. DiGiusto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


How does the presence of immigrants in a local community affect xenophobic attitudes? Does contact with immigrants ameliorate or exacerbate anti-immigrant attitudes among citizens? Synthesizing public opinion, economic, and demographic data from France, we test hypotheses concerning the relationship between the presence of immigrant populations and xenophobic sentiments. Supportive of the contact theory, we find that larger immigrant populations decrease xenophobic attitudes. This finding challenges much of the country-level research on immigrant concentration and xenophobia and offers some hope for those who are concerned about the rise of xenophobia and the radical right in the midst of diverse European polities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-473
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Science Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • European politics
  • Immigration
  • Public opinion
  • Xenophobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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