Racist orientations among young people. An empirical survey of the theory of individualization and the theory of the authoritarian personality
Sturny starts from the statement that increasingly global migration results in widespread fear (in the respective host country) of too many foreigners. He empirically tests two approaches to find out how these phenomena can be explained: the theory of individualization (W.Heitmeyer) and the theory of the authoritarian personality (D. Österreich). The former describes an authoritarian reaction to foreigners and thus the development of an authoritarian personality, the latter states that increasing individualization leads to a lack of societal orientation and insecurity - which may result in turning to rightist, extremist, and racist groups. Using a standardized questionnaire Sturny interviewed 262 pupils (approximately aged 15) of both sexes. There was a significant connection between authoritarian personality and racist orientation, but no connection of negative individualization and racist orientation was found. Thus, strategies to diminish the attraction of racist orientations for authoritarian personalities would be meaningful. Other results show that boys tend towards authoritarianism more than girls, Swiss youth more than foreign ones, lower age groups more than higher ones.
Keywords: authoritarianism and foreigners, racist orientations, foreigners and authoritarianism, racism and foreigners