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IACM 2023

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Understanding Normative Context In Integration of Muslim Immigrants: Intergroup Threat, Trust, and The Dilemma of Policies

While countries may welcome waves of refugees officially, integration policies within have been hotly contested. Immigrants are often perceived to be a threat, either economically or symbolically. Work attempting to bridge differences and integrate immigrants has shown the usefulness of interventions such as quality contact, and confirms the necessity of normative support. We explore connections between individuals’ experiences of their communities’ norms regarding integration of Muslim immigrants in US and New Zealand samples, and links to perceptions of threat and trust. We replicate past research findings that while certain indicators of a multiculturalism-focused context and norms (contact, MI) are associated with decreased perceptions of threat and increased trust, multicultural policies and practices can be associated with increased perceptions of threat and decreased trust. We link this last finding to the “principle-policy gap” found in racial policy research, and explore results with differentiated immigrant policy dimensions of legal-political, socioeconomic, and cultural-religious.

Tamra Pearson d'Estree
Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
United States

Mariska Kappmeier
University of Otago
New Zealand


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