The recent wave of immigration across European countries has precipitated an unprecedented political crisis in many Western countries. This is compounded by the fact that the large majority of these migrants originate from Arab countries. Research has demonstrated that Arabs are devalued relative to other socioethnic groups. The present study sought to investigate representations of Arabs and their integration. Twenty-one interviews conducted in Malta were used to analyse the logic and structure of argumentation supporting both favourable and unfavourable positions relative to Arabs. The findings demonstrate a variety of perspectives founded on six major themes, namely cultural, sociopolitical, psychological, religious, stigma and economic issues. All views were elaborated and warranted, and served to justify particular forms of social relations that make the integration of Arabs possible but highly difficult. In particular, findings demonstrate a lack of positive appraisals of Islam. These findings suggest that breaking the spiral of conflict between Europeans and the Arab communities they host requires affirmative action to redress the negative representational climate that Arab immigrants need to negotiate. Our study also introduces an innovative method for unpacking argumentation structures that mark representational fields. This serves to understand the ways by which social representations form and transform in everyday social interaction. This understanding is essential in designing smart policy that can cater to the logic of ordinary citizens.

Arabs in Europe: arguments for and against integration / Sammut, Gordon; Jovchelovitch, Sandra; Buhagiar, Luke Joseph; Veltri, Giuseppe A.; Redd, Rozlyn; Salvatore, Sergio. - In: PEACE AND CONFLICT. - ISSN 1078-1919. - 24(2018), pp. 398-406. [10.1037/pac0000271]

Arabs in Europe: arguments for and against integration

Salvatore, Sergio
2018

Abstract

The recent wave of immigration across European countries has precipitated an unprecedented political crisis in many Western countries. This is compounded by the fact that the large majority of these migrants originate from Arab countries. Research has demonstrated that Arabs are devalued relative to other socioethnic groups. The present study sought to investigate representations of Arabs and their integration. Twenty-one interviews conducted in Malta were used to analyse the logic and structure of argumentation supporting both favourable and unfavourable positions relative to Arabs. The findings demonstrate a variety of perspectives founded on six major themes, namely cultural, sociopolitical, psychological, religious, stigma and economic issues. All views were elaborated and warranted, and served to justify particular forms of social relations that make the integration of Arabs possible but highly difficult. In particular, findings demonstrate a lack of positive appraisals of Islam. These findings suggest that breaking the spiral of conflict between Europeans and the Arab communities they host requires affirmative action to redress the negative representational climate that Arab immigrants need to negotiate. Our study also introduces an innovative method for unpacking argumentation structures that mark representational fields. This serves to understand the ways by which social representations form and transform in everyday social interaction. This understanding is essential in designing smart policy that can cater to the logic of ordinary citizens.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1321014
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