Gender Differences in Stereotypical Attitudes and Social Distance Toward Migrant Workers

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Riva ZIV, Tel Aviv University, Israel

One of the consequences of globalization is the migration of workers to developed economies where they find low-paid, low-prestige employment. The issue of migrant workers in Israel has recently risen to prominence in its public discourse, where it is generally seen as a threat to Israeli society. This view is a consequence of the inevitable encounter between heterogeneous groups within Israeli society and the resultant cultural tensions. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether there exist gender differences in stereotypical attitudes and in social-distance among Israelis. We checked the hypothesis that employment of migrant workers reduces stereotypical attitudes and social-distance. The Bugardus social distance scale questionnaire and a stereotypes assessment questionnaire were distributed to 150 men (75 employers and 75 non employers) and 150 women (75 employers and 75 non employers). Unsurprisingly, we found that both women and men who employed migrant workers held more positive stereotypes of migrant workers compared to non-employers. Women tended to hold more positive stereotypes than men. As for social-distance, employers reported less social-distance compared to non-employers. No gender differences were detected, thus women's more positive stereotypes of migrant workers did not result in lower social-distance.