The Role of Social Media Behaviors and Structural Intergroup Relations on Immigrant Stereotypes

Vivian Hsueh Hua Chen, Saifuddin Ahmed, Arul Chib


This article studies the stereotypes of co-ethnic versus other-ethnic foreign immigrant groups based on the stereotype content model. An online survey (N = 424) was conducted to examine Singaporean citizens’ perceptions of two prominent migrant groups (co-ethnic Chinese nationals and other-ethnic Caucasians) and the influence of social media on stereotype formation. Results showed that status is associated with competence for both groups, while competition was related to warmth only for Chinese nationals. The cross-constructs of status warmth were found for co-ethnic immigrants only, and a competition–competence correlation was found for other-ethnic. Chinese nationals were perceived as moderate regarding competence and warmth, indicating that being co-ethnic immigrants may not result in in-group inclusivity. Caucasians were viewed as an in-group with high competence and warmth. Social media consumption and heterogeneous discussion were significantly associated with stereotypes for co-ethnic immigrants. For other-ethnic immigrants, social media consumption was associated with competence. Implications for theory and policy are discussed.


stereotype content model, immigration, intergroup relations, Facebook, social media, Whiteness

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