The relationship between national well-being and xenophobia in a divided society: The case of South Africa

2017-12-19 11:08:18 Viewed: 161 Downloads: 72
  • The relationship between national well-being and xenophobia in a divided society: The case of South Africa

      Steven Gordon

     Publisher:

    Pub: 2017-12-19 11:08:18

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  • Personal well-being surveys have increased their coverage on the African
    continent in recent years, but detailed research on subjective national wellbeing is less common. the link between national well-being and xenophobic
    sentiments has not been adequately tested in an African context. In order to
    better understand (and correspondingly counter) xenophobic sentiments in subsaharan Africa, this article tests the correlation of national Well-being Index
    (nWI) with attitudes towards immigrants in a sub-saharan country. south Africa
    was chosen as the research site for this study and data were used from the
    2012 south African social Attitudes survey (sAsAs), a nationally representative
    opinion poll of 2 521 respondents. In 2012 the six items that constitute the nWI
    were included in this survey, measuring public evaluations of the country’s
    economic, natural, governmental, social and security environment. this allowed
    the construction of the nWI, a composite score that provides a more precise
    measurement of sociotropic concerns. The findings of this study show that, even
    when controlling for individual well-being and socio-economic status, the nWI
    had a statistically significant relationship with attitudes towards immigrants. The
    lower the reported nWI, the more likely an individual will be to believe negative
    stereotypes about immigrants. this suggests the importance of studying and
    measuring subjective national well-being on the African continent

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  • Keywords

    Immigration, national well-being, national Well-being Index, south Africa, xenophobia


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