Uncertainty and Anti-Immigrant Sentiment in Portugal | Journal of Social and Political Psychology

A team of researchers at the University of Porto, using social media, surveyed Portuguese adults on “how much they agreed that they felt ‘uncertainty’ and ‘fear’ when thinking about the entry of immigrants to Portugal,” as well as their perceptions of realistic and symbolic threats, their belief in national superiority, and their support for anti-immigration laws.

You will probably not find their conclusion surprising: when immigration disrupts nationals’ sense of where they are socially, “… individuals seem more willing to lend support to measures that aim to reduce the source of uncertainty, such as voting for political parties that promise to protect the nationals by reducing immigration, based on material and economic concerns.”

The researchers have some ideas for what this means for policy, and for anyone interested to dive into the topic, the paper breaks down the myriad factors affecting the Portuguese sense of themselves vis-a-vis all the new people around them. Read on here: https://jspp.psychopen.eu/index.php/jspp/article/view/9953/9953.html

Here’s roughly how things have gone in Portugal, re: immigration, over the past four months, meanwhile:

13% of Portugal’s workforce are immigrants (October 27, 2023)

Immigrants contributed €1.6B to Social Security (December 19, 2023)

Chega leader wants to force immigrants to contribute for five years before having access to social support (February 21)

Portugal’s parliament struggles to elect speaker as far right shows teeth (March 28)

New government of Portugal wants to limit residence permits (April 15)

On Key

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