Wearing the Veil: Hijab, Islam and Job Qualifications As Determinants of Social Attitudes Toward Immigrant Women in Norway

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 6:00 PM
Room: F201
Oral Presentation
Zan STRABAC , University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Immigrant women are a particularly vulnerable part of immigrant population. In this paper we analyse negative attitudes toward immigrant women in Norway. We focus on immigrant women’s formal job qualifications, their religious background and wearing of Hijab—the headscarf that is sometimes used by Muslim women. Using survey-embedded experiments (N=1250)  we are able to analyse the net-effects on attitudes of job qualifications, Islamic religious background and Hijab. The results show that natives have more negative views of Muslim women that wear a Hijab, but that the negative effects of Hijab are reduced when a woman wearing it has higher education. With a single exception, the results also show that Muslim background in itself (i.e., without Hijab) does not have any strong effects on attitudes of natives toward immigrant women. The results are discussed with a point of departure in cultural threat theories and current socio-economic situation in Norway.