Neighbourhood-level social capital and anti-immigrant prejudice in an African context: an individual-level analysis of attitudes towards immigrants in South Africa
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African states are often characterised as low trust societies. Could a deficiency of social capital explain prejudice towards immigrants in such societies? Using South Africa as a case study, this paper tests the effect of social trust, social bonds with neighbours and a sense of community on attitudes towards foreigners. The results reveal that social capital may be a more important predictor of attitudes than economic status. Social bonds between neighbours and a sense of community were found to be more salient determinants of prejudice than social trust. In African societies it is, therefore, important to invest in programmes that promote social cohesion within communities.
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