Feminist opposition to German Islamic immigrants

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Why do some Europeans discriminate against Muslim immigrants? And how can these prejudices be reduced? Political scientist Nicholas Sanbanis has studied this question at stations across Germany conducting groundbreaking research with aspiring attendees, unfamiliar passers-by and, most recently, bags of lemon. ..

His latest study, co-authored with Donghyun Danny Choi of the University of Pittsburgh and Mathias Poertner of the University of Texas A&M, was published on July 8. American Journal of Political Science Then, in daily interactions with ethnic Germans, we find evidence of severe discrimination against Muslim women. The evidence comes from experimental interventions set up on platforms in dozens of German cities, and the discrimination of women in Germany is due to their belief that Muslims are regressive in terms of women’s rights. It’s clear that. Indeed, their experiences found feminist opposition to Muslims and showed that discrimination was eliminated when Muslim women showed that they shared a progressive gender attitude. San Banis, who oversees the Pen Identity and Conflict Lab (PIC Lab) he founded, said he came to Penn in 2016.

Many studies in psychology show that prejudice and discrimination are rooted in the sense that ethnic, racial or religious differences create distance between citizens, he says. “Faced with a wave of immigrants from culturally different populations, many Europeans, for example, by banning the hijab in public places or by forcing immigrants to take language courses. By removing ethnic or religious markers, we are increasingly supporting a policy of forced assimilation that eliminates the causes of these differences, ”explains Sanbanis. “Our research shows that much less coercive means can reduce stigma and discrimination unless migrants threaten the core values ​​that define the social identity of indigenous peoples.”

The Hijab Effect: Feminist Opposition to Islamic Immigrants is the fourth study in a multi-year project led by San Banis and the team on how to reduce stigma against immigrants. Research co-authors Choi and Poertner started working on this project as post-docs at the PIC lab.

A new article, published in the National Academy of Sciences Minutes in 2019, examined whether discrimination against immigrants would be reduced when they were shown to share the standards of citizens valued by indigenous peoples. Based on the first stage of the project. The study found evidence that shared standards reduce but do not eliminate discrimination. A new study will examine the impact of norms and ideas that are important to a particular subgroup of indigenous peoples and find stronger impacts when these norms are shared by migrants.

The findings have implications for how to think about reducing conflict between indigenous and migrant communities at a time of increasing cross-border migrants, says San Banis.

He and his co-authors conducted large-scale field experiments involving more than 3,700 unknown passers-by in 25 cities in Germany.

“Germany was a good case study because it has received the most asylum applications in Europe since 2015 due to the refugee crisis caused by the wars in Syria and other countries in the Middle East and ‘Central Asia. San Banis said. “Germany has a long history of immigrants from Islamic countries since the start of the post-war period, and anti-immigrant sentiment has grown due to cultural differences. These differences are politically manipulated and become more important. “

The intervention was as follows: A woman who participated in the investigation approached the station bench and a passer-by was waiting to attract attention by asking if she could buy a ticket on the train.

She then received a phone call and spoke to her in German about her sister, who was wondering whether she should work or stay at home to take care of her husband and children. The scripted conversation revealed the woman’s position on whether her sister was allowed to work or had to stay home to care for her family.

At the end of the call, the bag she had seemed torn dropped a bunch of lemons, strewn on the platform, and she seemed to need help retrieving them.

In the last stage, the members of the team who were not part of the intervention, each spectator call I helped the woman collect the lemons.

They experimentally changed the identity of women. The women were sometimes German or immigrants from the Middle East. Immigrants sometimes wore hijabs to show their Muslim identity, and sometimes they didn’t.

They found that men did not accept many messages about women’s attitudes towards gender equality, but German women did. Among German women, anti-Islamic discrimination was ruled out when immigrant women reported a progressive view of women’s rights. Men continued to discriminate under the regressive and progressive conditions of experience.

It was surprising that the experimental treatment did not appear to make a significant difference in the behavior of men towards Muslim women.

“Women were very well received by this message that Muslims shared a progressive belief in women’s rights, but men were indifferent to it,” says San Banis. “There was a difference and I expected the treatment to be more effective in women, but I did not expect it to be essentially zero for men.”

This experience highlights gender identity and works with ethnic German women (most of whom share a progressive gender vision). Immigrants Women In a progressive state. It is the basis for reducing discrimination and does not require coercive measures to force Muslims to remove the hijab, San Banis says. “While discrimination can be overcome in other ways, it is important to show that both groups share a common set of norms and ideas that define appropriate civilian behavior. “

The results are surprising in terms of previous literature, assuming that it is very difficult for people to overcome barriers created by race, religion and ethnicity. At the same time, this experience shows the limits of multiculturalism, says San Banis. “Our work shows that we can overcome differences in ethnic, racial or linguistic traits, but citizens support the generous adaptation of the values ​​of others and define their identities for many years. I resist the abandonment of norms and ideas, ”he says.


Clarify the source of discrimination against immigrants


For more information:
Dong Hyun Danny Choi et al. Penalties of the hijab: feminist opposition to Islamic immigrants, American Journal of Political Science (2021). DOI: 10.1111 / ajps.12627

Quote: “Hijab Effect”: Feminist Opposition to Muslim Immigrants in Germany (July 10, 2021) is https: //phys.org/news/2021-07-hijab-effect-feminist-backlash-muslim.html Obtained from July 10, 2021

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