Attitudes and threat perception: Unemployment and immigration in Portugal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Unemployment consistently appears in Portuguese opinion polls as one of the nation's most serious problems. Yet, official rates of unemployment are comparatively low in European terms. Relying on statistical data on the composition of the labour force on the one hand, and on survey results on attitudes toward work, foreigners, and the opportunity structure, on the other hand, we show that there is a pervasive collective feeling of threat associated with employment seen as a scarce resource, which is being crystallized on immigrant labour. We hypothesise that it is a feeling structurally embedded in low labour force qualifications, dominant mistrust toward the opportunity structures, and perceived social distances between different social categories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-205
Number of pages22
JournalSouth European Society And Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


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