Multiculturalist policies in an age of immigration: Do multiculturalist policies influence negative immigrant attitudes toward homosexuality?

Ronald Kwon, Elizabeth Hughes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this article, we provide an empirical analysis of the relationship between multiculturalist policies and immigrant attitudes toward homosexuality. Normative discourses implicate multiculturalism as a key obstacle to the sociocultural integration between immigrants and natives within affluent democracies. At the core of this controversial debate are differences over the extent to which multiculturalism impedes or promotes the adoption of sexual norms from host societies to immigrants. However, a dearth of empirical studies has allowed political actors to levy broad, but largely speculative, claims that multiculturalist policies aggravate cultural conflicts between incoming immigrants and the values of host societies. We begin to address this issue by examining whether immigrants’ attitudes toward homosexuality vary in any direction across multicultural contexts. We find no evidence that multicultural policies exacerbate negative attitudes toward homosexuality, or facilitate the greater acceptance of sociocultural norms surrounding homosexuality for immigrants and Muslim immigrants. The findings are consistent across alternative measures of multiculturalism and two large cross-national samples: The European Social Survey and the World Values Survey. Interestingly, we find some support that multiculturalist policies may be correlated with greater acceptance of homosexuality among natives rather than immigrant respondents. However, further research is necessary to develop and unpack this potential relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-691
Number of pages37
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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