The double-edged effect of intergroup similarity: Muslim and Christian immigrants’ acculturation preferences on intergroup relations in Sweden
AbstractA 2x2x2 experiment examined effects of the acculturation orientations seen to be endorsed by immigrants (of two different religions) on intergroup relations in Sweden. Swedish majority participants (N = 448) read interviews with Iraqi immigrants in which the immigrants’ religion (Muslim vs. Christian), desired level of contact with the host society (high vs. low) and desire to maintain their own culture (high vs. low) were manipulated. Overall, immigrants who were perceived to favour contact elicited more favourable intergroup attitudes. Desire for contact also interacted with immigrants’ religion: contact among Muslim minorities increased majority members’ support for multiculturalism. In addition, majority members identified more with being Swedish when Christian minorities appeared to endorse contact and reject their heritage culture, which corresponds to an acculturation strategy of assimilation. These findings demonstrate the complex role of religious similarity in intergroup relations. Implications for future research are proposed.
Olsson, Maria, Matera, Camilla, Tip, Linda and Brown, Rupert (2017) The double-edged effect of intergroup similarity: Muslim and Christian immigrants’ acculturation preferences on intergroup relations in Sweden. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations. ISSN 1368-4302 (Accepted)