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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article, based on a European social survey for the year 2016, analyzes the attitudes of Russian and European citizens towards the influx of migrants into their respective countries, as well as towards the changes that said migrants bring with them. Despite the fact that Russia is among the leading countries in terms of migrant count, while remaining separated from those migration flows which bred the current European migrant crisis, it is among the top three nations with the most negative attitudes towards people migrating to their country, as well as in terms of evaluating the changes attributed to said migrants. In regards to migration inflow, the utmost negative assessments are prevalent in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia. Positive assessments were recorded in Iceland and Sweden. When it comes to changes introduced by migrants, the most negative assessments among all of the countries surveyed were again recorded in Hungary, Russia and the Czech Republic. The most tolerant countries in this regard turned out to be Scandinavian nations: Iceland, Sweden and Finland. Negative assessments in Hungary and the Czech Republic can be attributed to the fact that these nations act as migration transit points of sorts on the path towards the wealthiest of European states. They do not possess the resources necessary to handle accommodating and supporting transit migrants, as well as providing security for their own host populations. This article also cites the discussion on potential reasons for anti-migrant attitudes in foreign research. Among the main reasons highlighted are cultural factors (values and beliefs in the countries studied), economic (competition in the labor market, income level, GDP, the proportion of migrants among the general population), social-demographic (gender, age, education level, type of settlement), contextual factors (religion, political orientation, mass-media influence) etc. In Russia, aside from the aforementioned factors, the effect of low living standards and propagandistic coverage of the European migrant crisis in mass-media is also a consideration.
European social survey, migrants, attitudes towards migrants, migration crisis, anti-migrant sentiments
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