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Education and academic positions:
Research on ethnic minorities, social capital, empirical methods, youth unemployment, value research
The Causes and Consequences of Social Intolerance Toward Immigrants and Muslims in Comparative Perspective (ongoing; 2013-2014)
Although the principle of tolerance dates back to medieval times when diverging religious views demanded toleration, it has only recently received increased attention in the public sphere across modern civil societies. This new 'call for tolerance' is based on emerging diversities within countries resulting from rising levels of immigration, individualism, and value-changes. These ongoing changes present great challenges for modern civil societies by inducing rising levels of anti-immigrant as well as anti-muslim attitudes. This research project analyzes how these negative attitudes may be overcome by means of social tolerance. Social tolerance is thereby understood as the acceptance of ethnic, cultural, and religious diversities and signifies a means to cope with conflicting views and attitudes. The first step of the project compromises the question in how far liberal values (e.g. acceptance of homosexuality) collide with tolerance toward Muslims. Further steps include analyzing the specific role of shares of immigrants and Muslims in the context on the formation of social (in)tolerance toward these groups. In a last step, the project takes a closer look at the social and political consequences of social (in)tolerance. The analyses are based on the different waves of the World Values Survey and the European Values Study as well as a Swiss specific data set. The aim is to include a wide range of developed democracies, different time points, and different analytical levels. Accordingly, context specific variables are further considered in the analyses which are conducted by means of multilevel modeling.
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