ESRA 2017 Programme

Tuesday 18th July      Wednesday 19th July      Thursday 20th July      Friday 21th July     

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Wednesday 19th July, 09:00 - 10:30 Room: F2 105

Analyses of social change with cross-sectional and longitudinal data 2

Chair Ms Malgorzata Mikucka (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium )
Coordinator 1Mr Francesco Sarracino (Statec, Luxembourg)
Coordinator 2Ms Tatiana Karabchuk (United Arab Emirates University)

Session Details

The availability of repeated cross-sectional surveys and of panel data allows analyzing social change over time. This type of analyses became popular after the recent studies on the relationship between economic growth and the trends of subjective well-being. Since then, this approach has been applied in various domains. Currently, researchers are increasingly interested in combining longitudinal and cross-sectional approaches to study social change. However, this field of research is still in its infancy and consequences of various methodological choices are still not well understood.

This session invites papers discussing the conceptual and methodological problems of analyzing social change over time with data such as macro-level time series, cross-sectional, and longitudinal surveys. In particular we welcome substantive research which investigates social change over time, presents novel methodological approaches, as well as postulates “good practices” in analyzing such data.

The topics include, but are not restricted to:

1. Research which investigates short- and long-term trends over time, as well as discusses methods of estimating trends and their consequences;

2. Analyses of relationships between changes occurring in various domains of social life, performed both within time-series and comparative frameworks;

3. Papers that distinguish between the effects of cross-sectional differences and the effects of overtime changes of the same factors;

4. Studies analyzing social change with comparative panel data.

Paper Details

1. Embedding attitudes towards immigrants in solidarity contexts. A cross-European study
Professor Bogdan Voicu (Romanian Academy & Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu)
Professor Horațiu Rusu (Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu)
Professor Mircea Comșa (Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj)

This paper provides proof that cross-national longitudinal survey can be used to predict long-term trends in individual-level attitudes. The paper builds as a retrospective inspection of embeddedness of attitudes towards immigrants and immigration (ATII) in cultures of solidarity. We combine data from EVS 1999 and 2008 waves and the spring 2015 Eurobarometer, to show the effect of country-level solidarity on individual-level ATII is strong and stable. The moment of recording ATII is important, being immediately after the refugee crisis become salient, a moment of high focus to be paid by almost all individuals in Europe to immigration. First, we test measurement invariance of cultures of solidarity, using the three-factor model of social solidarity (Voicu, Rusu, Comșa, 2013). Then we predict individual ATII in multilevel models, while controlling for most predictors revealed by existing literature (Ceobanu and Escandell, 2010; Davidov et al, 2008; Hainmueller & Hopkins, 2014). The findings show that cultures of solidarity have a stable effect and they are the strongest contextual determinant for individual-level ATII. In particular, local solidarity matters, and it produces effects on positive attitudes towards both EU and (to a smaller extent) non-EU migrants. The result is relevant in assessing the power of cross-sectional surveys to anticipate how society reacts to various shocks, and reveal the need for including cultural inputs in the design of migration policies.

2. Cultural consumption as universal remedy? Unravelling the link between cultural intolerance and the fear of foreigners.
Ms Katharina Kunißen (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Ms Mara Boehle (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Ms Debora Eicher (Goethe University Frankfurt)
Mr Matthias Lehmann ( Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)

Cultural preferences of individuals (e.g. in music consumption) can influence their open-mindedness towards the unknown and therefore also reduce the fear of foreigners as it may be an indicator of a bundle of tolerance values. However, the role of cultural consumption for the fear of foreigners is an underrepresented issue in the social sciences. This is surprising considering the fact that a relationship between cultural preferences and fear of the unknown has indeed been discussed before. Gerhard Schulze for instance describes that narrow and trivial cultural preferences represent a need for harmony and go along with a constant sense of being threatened. Still, such a link and the moderators which may be responsible for this association have not been tested systematically so far.
In this paper, we focus on the association of specific cultural preferences and the fear of foreigners from a social change perspective and test if this relationship is persistent or changes over time. Using repeated cross-sectional data of the German General Social Survey we present evidence for Germany. Given rising social inequalities over the last twenty years, we expect to find an increase of the effect over time. In a first step, we analyze if a general tendency to be culturally tolerant in fact reduces the fear of foreigners in Germany and if such an effect is the mere product of milieu-specific moderator effects (such as education and value orientations) or if it exerts an independent explanatory contribution. In a second step, we use latent class analyses to construct different patterns of cultural preferences and test if these patterns can be found in different waves of the German GSS. In a third step, we examine if the cultural patterns are associated with the fear of foreigners in different ways and compare these associations over time. First results show, that even controlling for age and education, a preference for high-cultural items as well as a broad cultural taste reduces the fear of foreigners substantially whereas preferring items that are associated with harmony shows the opposite effect.

3. Events and Changes in Values and Political Engagement: Findings from Panel Surveys in Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey
Professor Mansoor Moaddel (University of Maryland-College Park)

Two waves of a comparative cross-national panel survey are completed in Egypt between 2011 and 2016, Tunisia between 2013 and 2015, and Turkey between 2013 and 2016, yielding a response rate of 70% of 3,400 interviewed in Egypt in 2011, 80% of 3,000 interviewed in Tunisia in 2013, and 60% of 3,000 interviewed in Turkey in 2013. This paper assesses the extend to which the respondents' value orientations toward expressive individualism, gender equality, secular politics, and fundamentalism as well as political engagement have changed between the two waves, and what type of domestic and international events contributed to this. This paper also assess the relative significance of personal events in contributing to values change and political engagement.