Almost half of Irish adults believe “some cultures are superior to others” while almost 20 per cent believe “some races/ethnic groups are born less intelligent”, a landmark study on attitudes to race finds.
The study published on Thursday by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) and the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) also finds just under 45 per cent of adults believe some races are “born harder working”.
It finds Muslim and Roma people face the most antipathy, while negativity towards immigrants has been at its highest during economic downturns. Negative attitudes are greater among poorer and people with lower levels of educational attainment. Personal contact with people from immigrant backgrounds promotes a more positive attitude, it finds.
The report, Attitudes to Diversity in Ireland, draws on a survey of attitudes from the European Social Survey collected since 2002 and monitors attitudes here between 2002 and 2014.
“Attitudes to some migrants are much more negative than others. While 58 per cent of Irish-born people report they would allow many or some immigrants from members of the same ethnic group as most Irish people [ie white] to come to Ireland, the equivalent figures for Muslim and Roma migrants are 41 per cent and 25 per cent respectively,” says the report.
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