Anti-muslim sentiment across the ideological spectrum: Evidence from a conjoint experiment

Portrait picture of presenter Caroline Lancaster
Kasha Ely

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Caroline Lancaster, PhD candidate at the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, will give a 30-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of Q&A. The event is in a hybrid format, you are welcome to join us for lunch from the Corner room at DIGSSCORE. Food is provided on a first-come first-served basis.

Click here for digital attendance.


Muslims comprise a growing immigrant community in Western Europe and the United States. Yet, the extent to which anti-Muslim attitudes fit into the right-left attitude dimension is unclear. Some expect right-wing individuals to be significantly more opposed to Muslims than left-wing individuals, considering anti-Muslim sentiment to be a particular expression of generalized xenophobia and ethnocentrism. Others theorize that anti-Muslim sentiment exists across the ideological spectrum, rooted in complex, multidimensional concerns about Muslims and Islam. To provide more insight into anti-Muslim attitudes, I employ a conjoint experiment fielded in Norway. I find limited evidence of generalized ideological discrepancies in anti-Muslim attitudes across the ideological spectrum. Instead, I find remarkable consistency: both left- and right-wing individuals prefer Muslims who are less conservative. I couple these findings with text analysis of open-ended response data from the United States, which reveals that right-wing individuals hold more negative stereotypes about Muslims. These differing stereotypes may contribute to the ideological differences in attitudes observed in previous studies. My findings have implications for both the measurement of prejudice, as well as for our understanding of how anti-Muslim attitudes relate to politics.