Susceptibility to Threatening News and Opposition to Refugee Resettlement: The Case of Japan
47 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2018 Last revised: 22 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 21, 2019
A prominent explanation for opposition to refugee resettlement is that natives who are directly exposed to and feel threatened by the influx of refugees are more likely to oppose refugee resettlement. Yet, natives' susceptibility to threatening information (or frames)---even in the absence of real threats---has still not been fully investigated. To address this issue, we conducted a survey experiment in Japan using news media frames that depict refugees as threatening. Our results demonstrate that natives, on average, become more strongly opposed to refugee resettlement when they are exposed to such frames, regardless of the physical or psychological proximity to the location of potential threats and refugee resettlement. Further analysis focusing on subgroups, however, indicates that conscious and positive interactions with outgroup members could make natives less responsive to anti-refugee rhetoric and prevailing threatening frames.
Keywords: perceived threat, intergroup relations, framing effect, contact theory, refugees, Japan
JEL Classification: D72, D80, F22, J15, J61
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation