Greek Host Community Acculturation Expectations Towards Immigrants From Albania and Pakistan: The Role of Existential Parameters

Georgios Tsouvelas, Vassilis Pavlopoulos


The idea of personal death causes a sense of uncertainty and threat against our ontological security. Terror management theory proposes that, when confronted with existential anxiety, we tend to seek safety through explicit (post-mortem expectations) and implicit/symbolic immortality (cultural worldviews). This study aims to explore the role of existential parameters in the Greek host community acculturation expectations towards immigrants from Albania and Pakistan. Participants were 208 Greek university students. Exposure to mortality salience was introduced in the experimental group by administering the Mortality Attitudes Personality Survey, while participants of the control group responded to a questionnaire about TV watching. Measures for both groups included the Host Community Acculturation Scale and the Connection of the Soul Scale. It was found that host community acculturation expectations were not affected by experimental exposure to mortality salience but they were related to post-mortem expectations. Specifically, post-mortem expectations for connection with God were associated with acculturation expectations for individualism (positively), segregation and marginalization (negatively) of immigrants from Albania, while post-mortem expectations for connection with the universe were linked to expectations for integration of this immigrant group. With regards to immigrants from Pakistan, segregation was positively related to the connection with God. The findings suggest that host community acculturation expectations of Greeks are related to existential anxiety as a trait rather than as a state.


acculturation expectations; immigrants; existential anxiety; mortality salience; post-mortem expectations