Combined Forces: Thinking and/or Feeling? How News Consumption Affects Anti-Muslim Attitudes through Perceptions and Emotions about the Economy

Laura Jacobs*, Mark Boukes, Rens Vliegenthart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study develops a model that contributes to our understanding of the complex relationship between economic motivations and anti-Muslim attitudes by analyzing the underexplored role of news consumption. Using a large-scale Dutch panel dataset (n = 2694), we test a structural equation model theoretically grounded in group conflict theory, in which the relationship between news consumption and anti-Muslim attitudes is mediated by perceptions and emotions about the economy. Findings offer sound empirical support for the hypothesized model: news consumption increases pessimistic economic perceptions and negative emotions about the economy, which in turn strengthens anti-Muslim attitudes. The mechanism, however, largely depends on the type of news outlet and genre: watching television seems more decisive than reading newspapers; moreover, especially exposure to soft and popular news formats plays a dominant role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-347
Number of pages22
JournalPolitical Studies
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anti-immigrant attitudes
  • economic motivations
  • news consumption
  • panel survey
  • structural equation modeling

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