Social Norms and Willingness to Engage in Intergroup Contact

Christ, O. (FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany), Kauff, M. (FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany), Hewstone, M., (Oxford University, UK),  Schmid, K. (Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain), Schäfer, S. (FernUniversität in Hagen, Germany), Wagner, U. (Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany)

A plethora of studies has shown that intergroup contact reduces prejudice. Comparably less is known about predictors of intergroup contact. Building on the proposed importance of institutional support for intergroup contact, we argue that equality norms transported by institutions (e.g., state governments, local councils) predict majority members’ engagement in intergroup contact. In Study 1, we used multilevel modelling to investigate whether ethnic minority members’ perceptions of equal treatment by institutions on a neighbourhood-level predict frequency of ethnic majority members’ positive intergroup contact with minority members. In Study 2, we combined data from the 2014 European Social Survey with objective migration policies on a national level to study the relationship between policies and ethnic majority members’ frequency of positive contact. In Study 3, we experimentally investigated the effect of vignettes describing local institutional behaviour towards ethnic minority members and ethnic majority participants’ contact intentions. Results indicated that equal treatment by institutions on a neighbourhood-level, liberal migration policies on a national level, and descriptions of egalitarian institutional behaviour positively affect majority members’ frequency of contact with members of ethnic outgroups. Our research underlines the role of social norms for intergroup relations in general and intergroup contact specifically.

Event Timeslots (1)

Overcoming Barriers to Intergroup Contact Symposium