Locked Down, Lashing Out: Situational Triggers and Hateful Behavior Towards Minority Ethnic Immigrants

85 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2021 Last revised: 14 Dec 2021

See all articles by Gemma Dipoppa

Gemma Dipoppa

Stanford University

Guy Grossman

University of Pennsylvania

Stephanie Zonszein

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: December 13, 2021

Abstract

Covid-19 caused a significant health and economic crisis, a condition identified as conducive to stigmatization and hateful behavior against minority groups. It is however unclear whether the threat of infection triggers violence in addition to stigmatization, and whether a violent reaction can happen at the onset of an unexpected economic shock before social hierarchies can be disrupted. Using a novel database of hate crimes across Italy, we show that (i) hate crimes against Asians increased substantially at the pandemic onset, and that (ii) the increase was concentrated in cities with higher expected unemployment, but not higher mortality. We then examine individual, local and national mobilization as mechanisms. We find that (iii) a xenophobic national discourse and local far-right institutions motivate hate crimes, while we find no support for the role of individual prejudice. Our study identifies new conditions triggering hateful behavior, advancing our understanding of factors hindering migrant integration.

Keywords: Migrant integration, Intergroup conflict, Hate crime, COVID-19

Suggested Citation

Dipoppa, Gemma and Grossman, Guy and Zonszein, Stephanie, Locked Down, Lashing Out: Situational Triggers and Hateful Behavior Towards Minority Ethnic Immigrants (December 13, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3789339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3789339

Gemma Dipoppa

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Guy Grossman

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

133 S. 36th Street
Perelman Center for Political Science and Economic
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
(215) 898-4209 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://web.sas.upenn.edu/ggros/

Stephanie Zonszein (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

HOME PAGE: http://stephaniezonszein.com/

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