When national culture is disrupted: Cultural continuity and resistance to Muslim immigrants

Anouk Smeekes*, Maykel Verkuijten

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In three studies we examined the importance of cultural continuity for attitudes towards Muslim immigrants. Study 1 showed that perceiving national culture to be temporally enduring predicted opposition to Muslim expressive rights, and this effect was mediated by perceptions of continuity threat. Studies 2 (survey) and 3 (experiment), examined whether attitudes towards Muslim immigrants are dependent on the specific content of cultural continuity. Study 2 showed that a stronger perception of religious tolerant continuity was associated with lower opposition to Muslims, via reduced levels of continuity threat, whereas a Christian continuity representation was associated with higher continuity threat and more opposition. In Study 3, the causal effect of religious tolerant continuity was the same, but the salience of Christian continuity only resulted in more opposition to Muslims among younger adults. Together, these findings illustrate the importance of perceptions and representations of cultural continuity for the understanding of current intergroup dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-66
Number of pages22
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Continuity threat
  • Cultural continuity
  • Group history
  • Opposition to Muslims


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