Negative Interethnic Contact and the Consequences of Ethnic Neighbourhood Composition for Trust, Cohesion, and Prejudice.

Kros, M. (Utrecht University, the Netherlands), Hewstone, M. (The University of Newcastle)

Results on the relationship between ethnic neighbourhood composition and cohesion, trust, and prejudice remain inconclusive. Recent studies have gone beyond direct, neighbourhood-level effects of composition, and included positive interethnic contact as an individual-level mediator. We further extend on this research by including negative interethnic contact. We employ multilevel SEM with individuals nested in neighbourhoods, on a new dataset in the UK, consisting of 1520 White and 1474 Asian British participants. We control for neighbourhoods’ ethnic segregation and economic deprivation, and individuals’ levels of perceived ethnic threat. First, we show that negative interethnic contact is not affected by ethnic neighbourhood composition; not for White nor Asian British people. Second, for White British, living in neighbourhoods with a relatively high percentage of Asians is related to more positive interethnic contact; and is thereby indirectly associated with more cohesion, more trust, and less prejudice. Third, although not a function of neighbourhood composition, Asian people who have more positive contact also score higher on trust, cohesion, and lower on prejudice. Conversely, White and Asian people who have more negative interethnic contact score lower on trust, cohesion, and higher on prejudice. In sum, diverse neighbourhoods relate to more positive but not negative interethnic contact.

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Stereotyping and Intergroup Processes