Why the more educated are less inclined to keep ethnic distance: An empirical test of four explanations
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SourceEthnic and Racial Studies, 29, 5, (2006), pp. 959-985
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
SW OZ NISCO MT
SW OZ BSI OE
Ethnic and Racial Studies
SubjectInequality Cohesion Rationalization; Ongelijkheid Cohesie Rationalisatie
More educated individuals are more tolerant towards ethnic minorities than less educated individuals. This is one of the most consistent findings in studies on different expressions of intolerance towards ethnic minorities. In this contribution we set out to explain this recurrent finding by studying the educational effect on ethnic distance in a Dutch sample of young adults who have recently been exposed to the educational system. We have tested four explanations for the educational effect that are derived from different theoretical traditions: (i) perceived threat from ethnic minorities, (ii) cognitive sophistication, (iii) authoritarianism, and (iv) open-mindedness. We managed to explain the educational effect to a large degree (almost 67 per cent). Perceived threat turns out to be the most important explanatory factor (it accounts for 56 per cent of the educational effect), followed by authoritarianism, whereas cognitive sophistication and open-mindedness turn out to be of negligible importance for the explanation of the educational effect.
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