Ethnic Residential Segregation, Social Contacts and Prejudice in European Societies

Moshe Semyonov, Tel Aviv University
Anya Glikman, Tel Aviv University

The research examines the complex inter-relations between residential segregation, inter-ethnic social contacts and prejudice within the context of European societies. It examines the following hypotheses: (1) ethnic residential segregation restricts opportunities for establishment and development of inter-ethnic social contacts; (2) positive inter-ethnic contacts are likely to reduce prejudice and social distance; and (3) contact mediates the relations between residential segregation and prejudicial attitudes. The data for the analysis were obtained from the 2003 European Social Survey for 21 European countries. A series of multilevel regression models are estimated to examine the hypotheses, within a cross-national comparative framework. Although the findings generally support the theoretical expectations, they also underscore the complex ways through which residential segregation interacts with social contacts and prejudicial attitudes. The findings are discussed in light of sociological theories.

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Presented in Session 133: The Consequences of Racial/Ethnic Residential Segregation