Conference Agenda

RN31_03: Multicultural Societies, Social Cohesion and Discrimination
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Ireneusz Krzeminski, Warsaw University
Location: UP.4.213
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Fourth Floor Oxford Road


Inter-Group Contact Gone Wrong: The Consequences of Negative and Neutral Out-Group Exposure for Both Native-Born Citizens and Immigrants

Daniel Herda

Merrimack College, United States of America

Researchers frequently link interpersonal contact between members of racial or ethnic out-groups to reduced inter-group prejudice and increased understanding. However, these patterns often pertain to a specific character of contact that may not always exist under real-world circumstances. Individuals undoubtedly experience neutral and negative contact as well and these may produce different outcomes. Negative inter-group exposure in particular may also present unique consequences for minority groups. The current study considers these possibilities by taking a unique approach to the phenomenon of inter-group contact that simultaneously analyzes native-born citizens and individuals with migrant backgrounds. Using data from 15 countries in the 2015 European Social Survey, this paper first considers the native-born population. Motivated by inter-group contact theory, these multivariate analyses examine the degree to which different characters of contact influence perceptions of immigrants and immigration policy preferences. Subsequently, this paper considers the contact experiences of immigrants and the second generation. Motivated by reactive ethnicity theory, these multivariate models will test how negative experiences impact levels of closeness felt toward the host society and trust in host society institutions. In addition, this research attempts to present a more complete picture of respondents’ totality of inter-group exposure by testing whether the presence of out-group friends and neighbors can moderate the consequences of negative and neutral contact. Preliminary results suggest that negative contact experiences among the native-born population associate with several negative attitudes toward foreigners. However the reactive ethnicity patterns among immigrants are weaker and less consistent. The implications of these findings for the incorporation of migrants across Europe will be discussed.

Threats and Norms: Cross-Country and Within-Country Effects of Multicultural Policies on Attitudes towards Immigrants

Akira Igarashi

Tohoku University, Japan

Researchers and politicians have debated whether multicultural policies increase or decrease natives’ level of prejudice against immigrants. On one hand, multiculturalists argued that cultural norms are developed through tolerant multicultural policies, while anti-multiculturalists argued that multicultural policies foster threats for natives and deteriorate their attitudes towards immigrants. Previous empirical findings have provided mixed findings, and these issues have not fully settled yet. I claim that these mixed findings stem from two issues; the methodology and heterogeneity in policy effects. Previous studies have relied on cross-sectional analyses at single time point, but have rarely conducted cross-country analyses in a longitudinal framework, and have paid small attentions to variant effects of policies on different respondents. This study attempts to show whether cross-country variations (i.e., a country's averaged value of multicultural policy index for a particular duration) and within-country variations (i.e., changes in multicultural policies within a country) in multicultural policies affect natives’ prejudice against immigrants. In addition, I test how conservatives and economically vulnerable persons react to multicultural policies. I conducted a multilevel longitudinal analysis using datasets from the ESS Rounds 1 to 6 and the Multicultural Policy Index from 2001 to 2011 across 16 European countries. The results indicate that cross-country and within-country variations do not directly influence natives’ negative attitudes towards immigrants. Instead, cross-country variations reduce conservative natives’ prejudice, while within-country variations increase prejudice among those who are not satisfied with own current income. Thus, although the effects are evident for only a limited group, both cross-country variations and within-country variations are effective for attitudes towards immigrants in an opposite direction.

Rigid Group Boundaries, Strong Ethnic Identities And Strong Ingroup Cohesion As A Barrier To Harmonious Intergroup Relations

Lidia Terek

University of Novi Sad, Serbia

Based on Erikson’s (1968) and Fleming’s (1948) understanding that group identities and feelings of belonging have a great impact on the psychical development of young people, on Hutnik’s (1991) differentiation of four identity positions, on the standpoints of Social Identity Theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), and on the understanding that with strong ethnic identity we can expect an increase in intergroup bias (Pfeifer, et al., 2007), our goal is to explain the causes of conflicts between Hungarian and Serbian youngsters in Vojvodina. We hypothesized that the conflicts between them are more frequent in those parts of the region, where the identity of the Hungarian minority is stronger, where this community is more closed and where the intragroup cohesion is firmer. In order to proof this, we compared data collected from high school graduates from Subotica and Kikinda.

The obtained data confirmed that interethnic conflicts are more frequent in Subotica, where the Hungarian minority is bigger and have a stronger ethnic identity. Here, most of the Hungarian respondents have limited knowledge of the Serbian language and the majority of the Serbian high school graduates are seeing this as a disrespect of the state in which they are living. More than a half of our Hungarian respondents from Subotica stated that they were witnesses of an incident in which members of their ethnic group were attacked due to their ethnicity, as opposed to 20% of Hungarians living in Kikinda, in a city where mixed marriages between Serbs and Hungarians is very common.

Senses of Belonging and Connectedness in Multicultural and Multiethnic Society: Measuring Social Cohesion in Georgia

Ana Kirvalidze

Ilia State University, Georgia

Together with the demise of the Soviet Union and Georgia’s transition to a nation state as well as challenges of a new wave of globalization the issue of social cohesion in Georgia became an important topic for its further democratic development. The transition to market economy introduced fundamental changes in socio-demographic as well as the stratification of Georgian society. The increased concentration of population in urban centers created a gap between the rural and urban communities with asymmetric or unequal access to resources.

The main aim of this study is to investigate the dynamics of social cohesion in Georgia with considerable ethno-cultural and rising socio-economic diversity. In order to develop a complex view of the phenomenon I begin with the analyses of urban social change in socio-historical perspective. I will focus on particular characteristics and specifications of the phenomenon in four urban settings, among them ethnically heterogeneous small cities.

I will explore the following questions: What is the impact of recent socio-political changes on community cohesion in the context of urban ethnic diversity? Which socio-cultural factors are responsible for the incoherence between dominant and minority ethnic groups? Which socio-cultural factors determine self-segregation of the minority groups? How do primordial and cultural codes of identity in- or exclude civic ones? What is the role of collective memory in the creation of current self-understanding of citizens from majority and minority perspectives? Which are the main determinants linking ethno-cultural differences with structural disadvantages?

I will employ a mixed method approach, which blends quantitative and qualitative methods and produces a richer data set than a single approach.