Value Differences between Refugees and German Citizens. Insights from a Representative Survey
Fuchs, Lukas M.; Fan, Yu; Scheve, Christian – 2020
The political debate over the inclusion of refugees frequently revolves around cultural differences, in particular differences pertaining to values, which are suspected to hamper social integration. Sociological accounts of values in principle warrant the assumption that different values promote conflict over sensitive social issues. However, only little is known about the actual values of refugees who recently arrived in many European countries. Comparative values research suggests that immigrants from culturally distant countries increase value heterogeneity. In contrast, acculturation and assimilation theories argue that values are not static constructs, but subject to change and transformation. Using data from the IAB-BAMF-SOEP survey, a representative panel of refugees in Germany, and from the World Values Survey, the present study investigates differences in liberal democratic and gender equality values between refugees and German citizens. Results indicate that refugees from almost all countries investigated show higher levels of agreement to these values, except secularism, than Germans.