A Threat in the Air? Perceptions of Group Discrimination in the First Years after Migration: Comparing Polish Migrants in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Ireland

April 4, 2016 | Journal Article

Front Cover of Ethnicities Authors: Frances McGinnity , Merove Gijsberts
Ethnicities , Vol 16 , Issue 2, 2016 , pp. 290-315

Discrimination is a problem for both minority groups and the societies in which they live. Perceived group discrimination reflects the direct experiences of immigrants but is also an indicator of reception context and social cohesion in the host country. This paper examines perceptions of group discrimination among recently migrated Polish immigrants to four Western European countries, and specifically focuses on changes over time in these individual perceptions, using a new longitudinal survey of immigrants. Are there cross-national differences in (changes in) perceived group discrimination, and how is discrimination related to exposure to and experiences in the host country? By employing a panel design we find that perceived discrimination is higher among Polish migrants in the Netherlands in Wave 1 than in the other three countries; perceptions of discrimination also increase more there between waves of the survey, as well as in the UK. Perceptions of group discrimination are related to some aspects of exposure to the host country, but most strongly associated with negative experiences in the host country. Differences in country contexts – attitudinal climate and national discourses – seem to play a role in understanding perceived group discrimination among new Polish immigrants in Western Europe.

  • Publication Details

    Journal Article

    ESRI Series Number: JA201630
    Research Area: Migration, Integration and Demography
    Date of Publication: April 4, 2016
    Published Online: April 04, 2016
    Publisher: Sage
    Funded By: This paper is part of a Special Issue of Ethnicities titled New Migrants' Socio-Cultural Integration Trajectories in Four European Destinations. The Special Issue draws on data from the international survey project on Socio-cultural Integration Processes among New Immigrants in Europe (SCIP) that was funded by the NORFACE Research Programme on Migration.
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