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In this contribution, we set out to rigorously test previous theoretical propositions that people tend to have consensual and cumulative rankings of exclusion of ethnic and religious outgroups, often referred to as ‘ethnic hierarchies’ constituting a shared and particular pattern of ranking different outgroups, preferably excluded from possible social interaction. Crucial questions are (1) to what extent are European natives’ levels of exclusion of Muslim, Jewish and Gypsy minority groups consensually and, moreover, hierarchically ranked? (2) to what extent is this pattern of exclusion comparable across representative samples of European countries and (3) to what extent is it comparable across relevant social categories within these countries? We take advantage of high quality cross-national European data asking representative samples of respondents whether they would not allow particular ethno-religious groups into their country, analyzed with probabilistic scalogram analysis. We found convincingly strong empirical evidence for the consensual and cumulative ranking of exclusion of typical ethno-religious outgroups: most Europeans wish to allow no Gypsies to come into their country, followed by Muslims and finally Jews as the least excluded ethno-religious outgroup. This rank order of outgroups’ exclusionism was found in 18 out of 20 different European countries. Notwithstanding differences in the level of exclusion across countries, citizens within these countries rank order these ethno-religious groups in a similar, comparable and cumulative way. Moreover, we presented evidence that this cumulative rank order is present within many different social categories within these countries. Our contribution may be one of the first to rigorously test heavily cited theoretical propositions on social and polemic representations.
Gesthuizen, M., Savelkoul, M., & Scheepers, P. (2021). Patterns of exclusion of ethno-religious minorities: The ethno-religious hierarchy across European countries and social categories within these countries. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 82, 12–24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijintrel.2021.03.001