Fear has wide eyes: why do Russians see some migrant minorities as more numerous than others? MIKHAIL A . ALEXSEEV
When anti-migrant hostility and aggressive behavior arise, they are typically expressed as a need to defend the host society from being “swamped,” “invaded,” “penetrated,” or “overwhelmed.”1 Similarly, most theoretical explanations in political science and sociology of attitudes toward immigration have implicitly centered on the assumption that these attitudes are a linear function of the scale of migration of any given ethnic out-group.2 Yet migration into most states is multiethnic, and the scale of migration by group is frequently hard to estimate.3 Moreover, as diverse migrant groups spread out within states, they arrive in different numbers in localities (provinces, regions, states, counties, etc.) that differ from one another on significant demographic, political, socioeconomic, and cultural dimensions. These differences in turn are likely to affect impressions about the scale of migration. Which ethnic groups are most likely to engender public perceptions of being swamped or overcrowded in which regions?