Waiting for the barbarians: a public opinion analysis of South African attitudes towards international migrants
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The South Africa's democratic nation-building programme has sought to encourage a new non-racial nationalism. Over the last thirty years, racial divisions have lessened as the country has successfully consolidated a new
democratic political system. However, interracial animosity and a sense of interracial competition continue to characterize many aspects of everyday life. Does this sense of interracial competition have an association with the
emergence of widespread xenophobic sentiment in the country? Using the 2013 South African Social Attitudes Survey, a nationally representative survey, this paper will investigate determinants of anti-immigrants attitudes. The
results show that anti-immigrant sentiment is linked to a sense of interracial competition and alienation. A belief that immigrants were beneficial to society was also strongly (and negatively) correlated with attitudes towards
immigrants. These results suggest that reducing xenophobia in the country should be seen as part of a larger project of promoting social-cultural cohesion in the country.