Intergroup Contact and Prejudice: Theoretical and Practical Advances

Intergroup Contact and Prejudice: Theoretical and Practical Advances

CFS lecture by Professor Miles Hewstone, (University of Newcastle, Australia; Emeritus, University of Oxford)

Abstract

There is now extensive evidence that intergroup contact between members of different (e.g., ethnic, religious) groups is associated with a reduction in prejudice and an improvement in various measures of intergroup relations. In my talk I will consider some issues that I think may be of interest to a wider audience, and to scholars interested in empathy: (1) The wide-reaching effects of direct, face-to-face contact on attitudes to primary outgroups; (2) The fact that the effect of direct contact also generalizes to attitudes to other, non-contacted secondary outgroups; (3) The main underlying processes (or ‘mediators’) explaining how contact works to reduce prejudice (including reduced anxiety, and increased empathy and perspective-taking); (4) The value of extended contact (a form of indirect contact, which occurs via a fellow ingroup member having outgroup contact), and which does not require any experience of direct contact with the outgroup; (5) The importance of studying negative as well as positive forms of contact, and exploring how they interact; (6) The impact of intergroup contact in large-scale social interventions to promote social cohesion. Throughout my talk, I will draw extensively on evidence from some of my recent research projects.

The lecture is free and open to all. Welcome!