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Sociotropic Perceptions, Immigration, and Immigrants : East Asian Attitudes toward Immigration and Immigrants

  • The Journal of Northeast Asia Research
  • Abbr : NEA
  • 2014, 29(2), pp.127-172
  • DOI : 10.18013/jnar.2014.29.2.005
  • Publisher : The Institute for Northeast Asia Research
  • Research Area : Social Science > Political Science > International Politics > International Relations / Cooperation

Kim, Mi-Kyung 1

1조선대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

There are little studies to analyze public attitudes on immigration attitudes in East Asia from a comparative perspective despite the fact that East Asia has been an emerging immigration destination. This study provides a comparative analysis of immigration attitudes in three East Asian countries including Korea, China, and Japan, using cross-national survey data collected by the Pew Global Attitude Project in 2002 and 2007. This study finds that people’s attitudes on immigration and immigrants in three East Asian countries have been driven by their sociotropic concerns of either cultural or economic impacts of immigration and immigrants on their nations as a whole. This finding is consistent with sociotropic explanations of immigration attitudes. Furthermore, this study finds that while East Asian people perceive the immigration issue in terms of cultural threats, they perceive immigrants in terms of economic benefits of immigrants. This finding suggests that people might have ambivalent attitudes between their cultural concerns about immigration and their expectations of immigrants’ economic contributions to their nations. This finding challenges a pervasive assumption that immigration attitudes are closely linked to immigrants attitudes. Therefore, a further study needs to investigate such ambivalent attitudes toward immigration and immigrants, developing a more refined analytical distinction between immigration attitudes and immigrants attitudes.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.