Intergroup Relations Research

A minority-status perspective on intergroup relations: A study of an ethnic Chinese population in a small Italian town

This study models the effects on attitudes and behaviour of intergroup contact between minority-status Chinese residents and majority-status residents in the Tuscan city of Prato in Italy.

The study contributes to theory by building upon Allport’s original contact thesis through modelling the effects of intimate and non-intimate contact on behaviour, over and above their effects on attitudes in a setting in which a high proportion of the minority-status residents are international migrants.

Results indicate that neither friendship nor non-friendship contact have significant effects on minority Chinese residents’ attitudes towards majority-status residents; however, minority Chinese residents who report having more friends among majority-status residents report more positive behaviour towards them.

This result demonstrates the utility of not only differentiating between more intimate friendship contact and incidental non-friendship contact, but also differentiating between attitudinal and behavioural measures in the assessment of intergroup relations.

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