Race for second place? Explaining East-West differences in anti-muslim sentiment in Germany


Kalter, Frank ; Foroutan, Naika


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3389/fsoc.2021.735421
URL: https://madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/60895
Additional URL: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fsoc....
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-608957
Document Type: Article
Year of publication Online: 2021
Date: 11 November 2021
The title of a journal, publication series: Frontiers in Sociology
Volume: 6
Issue number: Article 735421
Page range: 1-12
Place of publication: Lausanne
Publishing house: Frontiers Media
ISSN: 2297-7775
Related URLs:
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Allgemeine Soziologie (Kalter)
Pre-existing license: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Subject: 300 Social sciences, sociology, anthropology
Keywords (English): East-Germany , ethnic rivalry , identification , islamophobia , outgroup mobility threat , recognition , social identity theory
Abstract: It has been shown that anti-Muslim sentiment is more pronounced in East Germany than in West Germany. In this paper, we discuss existing explanations and add to them. We argue that some East Germans see themselves as a disadvantaged group in competition with other minorities, such as Muslims, for social recognition by West Germans; they are in what we call a “race for second place”. Based on social identity theory, we expect that this might be particularly true for those who explicitly self-identify as East Germans. The theoretical discussion carves out the role of “perceived non-recognition” and “outgroup mobility threat” as important concepts within the conflicts of belonging. We use unique data from the survey “Postmigrant Societies: East-Migrant Analogies” for a comprehensive empirical analysis. We find that factors related to pre-existing arguments – such as socioeconomic and demographic variables, personality traits, or contact – can capture much of the group differences in anti-Muslim sentiment, but that they do not fully apply to those who were born and still live in the East and who explicitly self-identify as East Germans. For this subgroup, perceived non-recognition adds to the empirical models and outgroup mobility threat has a stronger effect.
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