Attitudes to Immigrants in South Africa: Personality and Vulnerability

25 April 2017

As part of the Lunchtime Seminar Series, the African Centre for Migration & Society invites you to a seminar titled Attitudes to Immigrants in South Africa: Personality and Vulnerability presented by Didier Ruedin (University of Neuchâtel). While many countries across the world face increasing numbers of immigrants, the literature on attitudes to foreigners and immigrants focuses on Western countries. This paper tests broad insights from Western countries in a specific non-Western context; South Africa, a country marked by sporadic violence against some immigrant groups. Data from the 2013 South African Social Attitudes Survey and the 2013 World Value Survey are used to model attitudes to immigrants. In line with research on Western countries, individual personality is associated with differences in attitudes; people in vulnerable positions and those who lack a personal support mechanism are more likely to oppose immigrants. When implemented to reflect the specific context, research on attitudes to immigrants appears to generalize to non-Western contexts.


Didier Ruedin (DPhil, Oxford) is a researcher at the University of Neuchâtel, and a visiting research fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand. His research focuses on reactions to immigration and diversity: attitudes towards immigrants and the politicization of immigration. Personal website:

Date: Tuesday 25 April 2017

Time: 12.30 - 13.30

VenueACMS Seminar Room 2163, South East Wing, Second Floor, Solomon Mahlangu House, University of the Witwatersrand East Campus

Photo credit: Stephen Little.