Age brings intolerance for immigrants, refugees as teenagers grow older

They hold conspicuously harder opinions than counterparts in other countries


25th November 2010: The immigrants are facing resistance from growing old teenagers as well. A pair of mass-participation studies released only recently shows English teenagers become increasingly intolerant of immigrants and refugees as they grow older.

The surveys have also found that they hold conspicuously harder opinions on the subject than their counterparts in other countries.

It was also found the young people are particularly more unconvinced about politicians, the media and their own abilities to influence the future, while they uphold a high level of trust in the institutions of political life.
In the first survey, the attitudes of more than 24,000 English school pupils between the ages of 11 and 18 were followed.

It found the young people "become less tolerant in practice towards equality and society" over the period of the study from 2002 to 2009. Their attitudes become less understanding towards refugees, immigrants, jail sentences and benefit payments.

The survey was carried out by the National Foundation for Education Research (NFER) charity. It also took part in the separate poll of 14-year-olds in 38 countries, 24 of them in Europe.

Quoting the findings of the survey, The Guardian says the survey found that while pupils in England, 3,500 of whom were polled, held "broadly democratic and tolerant" attitudes, their tolerance of immigration was notably below the international average, with particular opposition towards migration from within Europe.

"It’s interesting in that we have these two studies – the longitudinal study from 11 to 18 and the snapshot at the age of 14 – and they seem to be saying similar things," said Professor David Kerr from the NFER. "They support notions of equality in gender and race in theory, but when it comes to actual immigration, they are less tolerant than young people in the other countries. It could be that we’re living in an increasingly competitive world and they are mainly worried for their own prospects."

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