Influence of segregation versus mixing: Intergroup contact and attitudes among White-British and Asian-British students in high schools in Oldham, England
Hewstone M., Ramiah AA., Schmid K., Floe C., Zalk MV., Wölfer R., New R.
© The Author(s) 2018. We report findings from three longitudinal studies investigating the extent, quality and consequences of intergroup contact in schools between young Asian-British and White-British secondary (high-school) students. Results provide robust support for Allport’s ‘contact hypothesis’ in this setting. Specifically, mixing (vs segregation) in high schools does actually promote intergroup contact (although there is still resegregation), and contact improves attitudes and trust towards the outgroup. We conclude that faith schools, to the extent that they are segregated, deprive young people of the opportunity to mix across ethnic and religious lines during the school day; in the absence of positive contact in a safe setting, intergroup contact and especially cross-group friendships are restricted, and positive outgroup attitudes are thwarted.