Uncovering the value-expressive content of immigration attitudes using open-ended questions: A mixed methods approach

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PhD Candidate Soran Hajo Dahl at the Department of Government will present today, on "Uncovering the value-expressive content of immigration attitudes using open-ended questions: A mixed methods approach". 

Abstract for the talk: 

The emerging consensus is that predisposing psychological factors such as core values account for a large portion of variation in immigration attitudes. The effects of such factors are remarkably consistent; across time and contexts, the same subsets of value orientations exert the same directional pressures on immigration attitudes. Values associated with a broadly liberal or progressive orientation such as egalitarianism, universalism and humanitarianism are all consistently related to pro-immigration attitudes, while ostensibly conservative values related to conservation, tradition and security predict anti-immigration positions.

The substantial and seemingly unambiguous effects of these broad value orientations is noteworthy. Values are broad motivational orientations directed at abstract life goals, and are not directly related to any particular issue. They influence issue positions only insofar as the issues in question are seen as relevant to the attainment of more fundamental goals. Given this, some contingency in how values are linked to issue positions is to be expected.

Signs of such contingency are evident in attitudes towards immigration. For example, right-wing populist parties increasingly frame exclusionary immigration policy in terms of liberal values, emphasizing the rights of women and sexual minorities. On the opposing side, it has been argued that conformity values were in the service of multiculturalism when, for a moment, that was the conventional position in Western Europe. 

In this presentation, I explore the many ways value orientations are expressed in attitudes towards immigration in Norway. I argue that variation in the value-expressive content of immigration attitudes has been underestimated in previous observational studies due to their use of summary pro-con positions as the key measure of immigration attitudes. To get around this, I examine the value-expressive content of immigration attitudes directly, relying on original data collected through open-ended survey questions. I present preliminary findings of a mixed-methods approach to these data.


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.

All are welcome!


Zoom link for digital attendance.