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Between uncertainty and hope: A qualitative analysis of how young, highly educated Europeans perceive the acceptance of refugees into Europe
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This study examines the perceptions of young and highly educated individuals on accepting refugees into their local societies. Following the mass displacement of individuals post 2015 conflicts in Syria, accepting refugees into Europe is dominating the discourse within the region. This study approaches the issue from the standpoint of the host society with the focus on the socio-demographic group made up of young and highly educated Europeans. It aims to fill the gaps in research by qualitatively investigating the complex perceptions held on this subject. It further explorers the evolution of these perceptions within the wider social discourse when actual or perceived impacts of immigration become salient. The research question leading this study is: ‘how do young, highly educated Europeans perceive accepting refugees into Europe?” Fifteen participants have been interviewed for this study. The Social Identity Theory is utilized to conduct the theoretical analysis of this research. The findings unveiled three key themes – participants’ individual perceptions on accepting refugees are moderately positive; they are driven by humanitarian concerns; they evolve from personal to social context in a positively inclined manner; and three subthemes – participants’ perceptions on accepting refugees were largely shaped by other people; these perceptions are redefining participants’ in-group membership and social identity; they are also distancing participants from the wider society. ...
Intercultural relationships intergroup communication perceptions age education young highly educated Europeans refugees Syrian refugee crisis Europe Social Identity Theory SIT mielipiteet nuoret aikuiset maahanmuuttopolitiikka pakolaisuus asenteet opinions young adults immigration policy refugeedom attitudes
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