Certain migrant groups are received negatively by their host countries compared to others. This may be because feelings of social distance influence sentiments towards certain migrant groups. In addition to feelings of social distance, colonial history and incompatible cultural values may be contributing to these feelings amongst Swedish politicians. To examine how social distance influences Swedish politicians’ responses to immigrant groups, I compiled research on over 130 Swedish news articles to determine how the social psychological theory of social distance changes depending on the culture of migrants’ country of origin. As expected, Swedish politicians have increasing feelings of social distance towards non-European and Muslim migrant groups and have lower feelings of social distance towards European migrants. The Muslim identity had the largest impact on shaping politicians’ feelings of social distance and influenced their opinions on these migrants.

Type of Work

Thesis - Limited Access

Department or Program



Hamilton College


Bachelor of Arts

Date of Graduation


Faculty Advisor

Jamie Kucinskas

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.