How well do opinion surveys measure racism? : Introduction
Patterns of Prejudice
GB : Institute of Jewish Affairs
3 - 5 p.
Opinion surveys, Racism, Immigration, Xenophobia
Knowing public attitudes towards immigrants and immigration is essential for European Union countries, faced with a sizeable number of immigrants on the one hand, and, on the other, with the electoral success of anti-immigrant political parties such as the Front national (FN) in France, the Vlaams Blok in Belgium, the FPÖ in Austria and the Lega Nord in Italy. And innumerable surveys have been carried out to determine the level of racism and xenophobia in Europe. But are opinion surveys the best way to measure racism? Do people speak freely about such a topic in democratic societies where anti-racism is the norm? What about social desirability effects, especially among educated respondents aware of the ‘politically correct’ answers? These are the questions that the two following papers try to answer, using different types of measures and focusing on the methodological aspect of the study of racism. [Article's first paragraph]