Dans le Washington Post : The telling way white Americans react to pictures of dark-skinned immigrants
It's the lashing-out theory of Trumpmania. President Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and others have speculated that working class whites are signing on to Donald Trump and his inflammatory anti-immigrant rhetoric out of a deepening anxiety over their place in the 21st century American economy.
Some political scientists, however, say antagonism toward immigrants is being driven by a more primal instinct: mistrust of outsiders — or even racial prejudice, either of the conscious or unconscious variety.
A body of academic research has tried to deconstruct why some Americans are skeptical about immigrants. Are they driven by policy concerns, about economics, or security? A general dubiousness about foreigners? Or a deep-seated aversion to people of a different skin tone?
A study forthcoming in the journal Political Psychology sheds new light on these questions. Political scientist Mara Ostfeld, who will be an assistant professor at the University of Michigan, randomly assigned white, non-Hispanic people to read different fictional stories about an immigrant family.
In one version of the story, the immigrants are sitting at a diner eating buffalo wings and discussing baseball. In another, the immigrants are at an ethnic food market eating spicy goat meat and talking in their native tongue.
After seeing the stories, the people were asked broad questions about immigration policy.
People who read about the American-acting immigrants expressed more positive feelings about immigrants and immigration policy in general — they were more likely to believe immigrants are helping America, more likely to support increasing the number of immigrants, and less likely to support building a fence on the Mexican border.
In other words, Ostfeld showed that people’s attitudes about immigration can be nudged just by having them read stories about immigrants who behave in traditionally American ways.
These effects were modest, though statistically significant, and not too surprising. So far, these results were in line with past experiments showing that people feel positively toward immigrants who they think have made an effort to fit in.
Outfeld wanted to go deeper, though.
In previous studies, researchers have found that people's views on immigration policy are affected generally by the ethnicity of the immigrants being discussed, but they did not find an effect based on skin color. In other words, showing people pictures of darker-featured Latinos as opposed to lighter-featured Latinos doesn’t change how they feel about immigration policy.
In her experiment, Outfeld took another angle. After showing subjects pictures of either light-skinned or dark-skinned families, she also asked more personal questions. How would they feel having the immigrants from the story move into the neighborhood? Work alongside them? Marry somebody in the family?
Pour lire l'article en entier : https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/01/12/the-telling-way-white-americans-react-to-pictures-of-dark-skinned-immigrants/