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Scientific article
English

Beyond direct contact: the theoretical and societal relevance of indirect contact for improving intergroup relations

Publication date2020
Abstract

Today, physical and psychological barriers can reduce opportunities for the type of direct face-to-face intergroup contact first identified by Gordon Allport (1954). Consequently, social psychological researchers have identified, developed and tested a burgeoning array of different forms of indirect contact, including, extended contact, Electronic- or E-contact, imagined contact, vicarious contact and parasocial contact. In addition to providing a critical review of each of these forms, we argue that indirect contact is more than just a simple ‘replacement' for direct contact, but instead has the potential to improve intergroup relations for both minority and majority members in its own right. Relatedly, we acknowledge that indirect contact occurs within specific normative contexts embodied in legislation, institutions, and media and political contents. In fact, we recognize that indirect contact requires an integrative understanding of the role of intergroup norms and affective processes in order to effectively achieve public policy objectives to optimize effects on prejudice reduction. Keywords: intergroup contact, extended contact, E-contact, imagined contact, anxiety, prejudice

Citation (ISO format)
WHITE, Fiona et al. Beyond direct contact: the theoretical and societal relevance of indirect contact for improving intergroup relations. In: Journal of Social Issues, 2020.
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Article (Published version)
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Identifiers
  • PID : unige:148526
ISSN of the journal0022-4537
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