Neighbourhood ethnic diversity and orientations toward muslims in britain: The role of intergroup contact
Hewstone M., Schmid K.
© 2014 The Political Quarterly Publishing Co. Ltd. A persistent theme in the British and international debates about immigration and diversity is the controversial claim that living in diverse areas has negative consequences for intergroup attitudes and community relations. In the present paper we test this claim by investigating the impact of neighbourhood diversity and self-reported intergroup contact on orientations (outgroup attitudes and social distance) toward one religious outgroup: Muslims. Respondents were both White British majority (N=867) and non-Muslim ethnic minority (N=567) residents of neighbourhoods in England which varied in their proportion of ethnic minority residents. We tested both direct and indirect (via intergroup contact) effects of diversity on outgroup orientations toward Muslims. Results show that individuals living in more ethnically diverse areas-regardless of whether they are White British members of the majority or non-Muslim members of ethnic minorities-have more positive contact with Muslims, with positive consequences for intergroup relations with Muslims.