Chapter 3: Explanations for welfare chauvinism in the public
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Chapter 3 introduces the three most prominent explanations for welfare chauvinist attitudes, which can be argued to be non-competing. First, based on economic threat theories or self-interest theories, the literature assumes that lower socioeconomic groups compete more with migrants for jobs and scarce welfare resources. Second, based on cultural threat theories or cultural ideology theories, the literature assumes that lower socioeconomic groups have more negative attitudes towards migrants. For both of these reasons, it can also be assumed that these groups feel more threatened by migrants and are more welfare chauvinist. Third, Chapter 3 introduces institutional context theories, which point to various contextual-level factors that can increase welfare chauvinism too. The chapter proceeds to introduce a novel argument to the literature: institutional contexts can shape the relationship between self-interest/cultural ideology and socioeconomic status, particularly education. For example, in different cross-national contexts, higher levels of education do not automatically lead to a more favourable labour market position and education systems do not automatically promote diversity and democracy. In fact, the opposite can be the case in certain contexts and that would diminish or even reverse the assumed relationship between welfare chauvinism and education.

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