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17.11.2010

KIIS Tolerance Ratings show slight improvement

   

According to the research carried out by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology from 1994 to 2010 inclusive, over the last two years Ukrainians have become slightly more tolerant in their attitude towards foreigners.

The report published to mark International Day of Tolerance on 16 November states that the level of xenophobia in Ukraine steadily rose from 1994 to 2008, however in 2009 and 2010 there was a stabilizing of the situation and the level of xenophobia even decreased somewhat..

The Institute uses the Bogardus Social Distance Scale, and the terms used here directly translate those used in the survey (including the word negro, likely to be understood as anybody with a black skin – translator).

The highest level of tolerance in the survey carried out in February 2010 was demonstrated towards three ethnic groups: Ukrainian-speaking Ukrainians (96% are not against them living in Ukraine); Russian-speaking Ukrainians (94%); and Russians (85%);, as well as to Belarusians (76%) and Jews (63%). The lowest level is to people with a black skin (only 22% of the respondents are happy for them to live in Ukraine).  There were 6 groups where the percentage was under 50: Germans (38%); Gypsies (37%); Romanians (36%); Canadians (36%); Americans (35%) and French (33%).

Trends

Some of the percentages are fairly stable, for example, the attitude to Russians has not changed much over the last 16 years. There was a worsening in the attitude only in 1996-1997.  The same is the case with Russian-speaking Ukrainians.

There has been a much more unstable attitude towards Gypsies and Afro-Americans (the term used in the report, however presumably again meaning people with a black skin), with the attitude gradually worsening. The attitude towards Jewish people has also worsened over the years, with the lowest figure being in 2007.

Assuming that the best attitude to an ethnic group is typified by readiness for a person from that group to become a member of your family (the least social distance, graded at 1); and the worst is that you wouldn’t let them in the country (the greatest social distance; 7), the average rate between these two extremes can be treated as the level of xenophobia.   As reported, this level began at around 3.5 in 1994, steadily rose to around 4.4 in 2008 and is now falling (at present around 4.2).

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