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Is racism the new sectarianism?: Negativity towards immigrants and ethnic minorities in Northern Ireland from 2004 to 2015

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Ethnic and Racial Studies
Issue number14
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)2426-2444
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date25/10/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Negativity towards ethnic minorities is a serious problem in Northern Ireland. Its history of the Troubles around religious identities makes Northern Ireland a special case in Europe. This paper examines negativity towards Muslims, Eastern Europeans and immigrants in Northern Ireland using data from the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey and the British Social Attitudes Survey. The results from regressions show that anti-immigrant negativity is no more prevalent in Northern Ireland than elsewhere in the UK. However, levels of negativity towards Muslims and Eastern Europeans are significantly higher than in Great Britain and have increased in recent years, particularly among young adults aged 18–24 years, although older cohorts are more intolerant on average. Our regression analyses found strong positive relationships between anti-immigrant negativity, sectarianism and perceived neighbourhood segregation. Higher education, contacts with minority members and (religiously) mixed schooling are negatively related to negativity towards immigrants.