Educational Attainment, Political Sophistication and Anti-Immigrant Attitudes
Eva van der Heijden
IISG, Institute of Social History, Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
Ercomer, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands
Among a national sample of Dutch respondents (N = 1,155), this study examined whether the belief configuration of personal political orientation differs for individual level of education, and how it is related to negative attitudes toward immigrant-origin groups and refugee policies. In agreement with the ideological sophistication perspective, the endorsement of social conformity and the acceptance of group-based inequality were found to be more strongly part of the political orientation of higher compared to the lower educated participants. Furthermore, the endorsement of social conformity and acceptance of group-based inequality were associated with more negative feelings toward immigrants and more negative attitudes toward policies in relation to refugees. These findings add to the existing literature that has predominantly examined education and political orientation as two independent correlates of anti-immigrant and refugee attitudes.