Tuesday, 2 May 2023

Rearranging the Desk Chairs

A Large Randomized Field Experiment on the Effects of Close Contact on Interethnic Relations

WZB Talk by Felix Elwert - Online Event

Contact and conflict theory famously predict opposite effects of inter-ethnic exposure on anti-minority discrimination. Contact theory predicts that inter-ethnic contact reduces prejudice; whereas conflict theory predicts that inter-ethnic contact leads to more discrimination. The scope conditions for both theories, however, are vague; prior evidence is mostly correlational; and supportive field experiments have largely accrued in rarified settings. This begs the question how interethnic contact affects interethnic relations in everyday situations. We test the causal effect of interethnic exposure on discrimination under quotidian conditions in the largest pre-registered randomized field experiment to date, involving N=2,395 students in 39 Hungarian schools. Guess what we found.

Felix Elwert is Professor of Sociology at the University of Madison-Wisconsin.


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