Outgroup Prejudice and Intergroup Contact: A Comparison of Anti-Muslim Prejudice in Eastern and Western Europe

Stream: Panel 70 - Comparative Politics: Prejudice and Ethnic & Religious Minorities 
Date: Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Time: 9.00 am – 10.30 am


This study examines the influence of intergroup contact on outgroup prejudice. Contact hypothesis holds that optimal intergroup contact allows group members to interact with each other, and gradually reduce their prejudices in the process. The case of Muslim immigrants in Europe allows an opportunity to test that argument, since anti-Muslim prejudice is significantly higher in Eastern Europe, where there are much fewer Muslims. Employing multilevel regression analysis, this study tests whether the lack of contact with Muslim minority members leads to high prejudice levels in Eastern Europe. Data for the analysis come from the seventh and latest wave of the European Social Survey, which now includes a set of measures for optimal intergroup contact. The data are from 2014, and cover 22 European countries. Findings indicate that individuals who have limited contact with Muslim immigrants are significantly more likely to be prejudiced against them. The results are in the same direction in both Western and Eastern Europe, implying that the cause of higher prejudice in Eastern Europe is primarily on the individual level.


Serdar Kaya (Presenter), University of Queensland
Serdar Kaya is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland. His primary research and teaching interests revolve around migration, multiculturalism, intergroup processes, and more specifically, Islam-West relations.