This project will investigate how structural features of a person’s social network affect the reduction of interethnic prejudice. Examples of such structural features are whether one’s friends know one another and whether friends from one’s own racial group spend time in the same social settings as the friends from other groups. The work builds on recent insights in social psychology on the impact of interethnic friendships on prejudice. Under the supervision of experts at Stanford and Utrecht University, the fellow will be among the first to apply state-of-the-art techniques from sociological network analysis to the psychological study of intergroup contact and prejudice.
Moreover, close collaboration with one of the world's leading experts in survey methodology (Prof Krosnick) will enable the fellow to develop better instruments to measure social networks in online surveys and advance his abilities to determine the quality of survey indicators. This newly gained knowledge will be transferred to the returning host institute through workshops and a new data collection in collaboration with local PhD students. One of Europe’s leading experts on migration and ethnic relations (Prof Verkuyten) will supervise and support the fellow, and ensure that the new insights in the role of networks are made available to other European researchers.
This project addresses two core goals of the FP7 program in socio-economic science and humanities through its focus on (1) cultural diversity as a consequence of migration and (2) how this relates to discrimination in terms of interethnic prejudice. Because of the high relevance of this topic for the public and for ethnically heterogeneous schools in particular, media releases as well as workshops with teachers are planned to disseminate the findings. The training in scientific and soft skills proposed in this project will put the fellow in an excellent position to become an independent researcher and establish his own research group.
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