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Title: Attitude polarization and closed-mindedness : the immigration issue in Malta from 2010 to 2020
Other Titles: Contemporary immigration : psychological perspectives to address challenges and inform solutions
Authors: Sammut, Gordon
Buhagiar, Luke Joseph
Mifsud, Rebekah
De Giovanni, Katya
Brockdorff, Noellie
Keywords: Emigration and immigration -- Psychological aspects
Emigration and immigration -- Malta
European Union -- Great Britain
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Citation: Sammut, G., Buhagiar, L. J., Mifsud, R., De Giovanni, K. & Brockdorff, N. (2022). Attitude Polarisation and Closed-Mindedness: The Immigration Issue in Malta 2010-2020 In F. M. Moghaddam & M. J. Hendricks (Eds.) Contemporary Immigration: Psychological perspectives to address challenges and inform solutions (pp. 123-141). Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
Abstract: In this chapter, two studies on attitudes toward immigrants in Malta, conducted in 2010 and 2019, are used as the platform for examining immigrant–host society relations in the context of globalization and increasing population movements. Malta has become an important gateway to the European Union for different groups of newcomers, and shifts in intergroup relations in Malta tend to be indicative of trends in greater Europe. The authors point to the growth over time of more negative “mentalities” among host society members toward immigrants, particularly those from outside Western Europe. Associated with this negative turn are feelings of economic insecurity and outgroup threat as well as increased closedmindedness. Brexit is cited as an outcome of the same trend in the United Kingdom. Similar to Esses and Adegbembo (Chapter 2) and Bozatzis et al. (Chapter 8), who propose building a common group identity as a solution to improve intergroup relations, the authors of this chapter suggest that one way to counter these closed-minded views it to start small by finding common ground.
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