Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Why there is less supportive evidence for contact theory than they say there is: A quantitative cultural–sociological critique

Why there is less supportive evidence for contact theory than they say there is: A quantitative... The finding that ethnic prejudice is particularly weakly developed among those with interethnic friendships is often construed as confirming the so-called ‘contact theory,’ which holds that interethnic contact reduces racial prejudice. This theory raises cultural–sociological suspicions, however, because of its tendency to reduce culture to an allegedly ‘more fundamental’ realm of social interaction. Analyzing data from the first wave of the European Social Survey, we therefore test the theory alongside an alternative cultural–sociological theory about culturally driven processes of contact selection. We find that whereas interethnic friendships are indeed culturally driven, which confirms our cultural–sociological theory, contacts with neighbors and colleagues do indeed affect ethnic prejudice. They do so in a manner that is more complex and more culturally sensitive than contact theory suggests, however: while positive cultural stances vis-à-vis ethnic diversity lead interethnic contact to decrease ethnic prejudice, negative ones rather lead the former to increase the latter. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Cultural Sociology Springer Journals

Why there is less supportive evidence for contact theory than they say there is: A quantitative cultural–sociological critique

Loading next page...
 
/lp/springer-journals/why-there-is-less-supportive-evidence-for-contact-theory-than-they-say-AYXq0l7h5W
Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Macmillan Publishers Ltd
Subject
Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general; Sociology, general; Sociology of Culture; Media Sociology
ISSN
2049-7113
eISSN
2049-7121
DOI
10.1057/s41290-017-0028-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The finding that ethnic prejudice is particularly weakly developed among those with interethnic friendships is often construed as confirming the so-called ‘contact theory,’ which holds that interethnic contact reduces racial prejudice. This theory raises cultural–sociological suspicions, however, because of its tendency to reduce culture to an allegedly ‘more fundamental’ realm of social interaction. Analyzing data from the first wave of the European Social Survey, we therefore test the theory alongside an alternative cultural–sociological theory about culturally driven processes of contact selection. We find that whereas interethnic friendships are indeed culturally driven, which confirms our cultural–sociological theory, contacts with neighbors and colleagues do indeed affect ethnic prejudice. They do so in a manner that is more complex and more culturally sensitive than contact theory suggests, however: while positive cultural stances vis-à-vis ethnic diversity lead interethnic contact to decrease ethnic prejudice, negative ones rather lead the former to increase the latter.

Journal

American Journal of Cultural SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Jun 20, 2017

References