English title: Ethnic Residential Segregation, Social Contacts, and Anti-Minority Attitudes in European Societies

Author(s): Moshe Semyonov - Anya Glikman -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2009


Ethnic residential segregation has long been viewed as a major structural mechanism through which ethnic and racial minorities are denied equal access to opportunities, rewards, and amenities. Residential segregation also decreases opportunities for establishment and development of social ties and contacts between members of ethnic minorities and members of the majority population. This article examines the complex inter-relations between ethnic residential segregation, inter-ethnic social contacts and attitudes toward minorities within the context of European societies. It specifically examines the following hypotheses: first, ethnic residential segregation (i.e. residence in homogeneous all-European neighbourhoods) restricts opportunities for establishment and development of inter-ethnic social contacts; second, positive inter-ethnic contacts are likely to reduce anti-minority attitudes (i.e. perception of threat and social distance); and third, contact mediates the relations between the ethnic composition of neighbourhood of residence and anti-minority attitudes. Using data from the 2003 European Social Survey for 21 European countries a series of multi-level 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 in which patterns of ethnic residential segregation affect attitudes toward minority populations through inter-ethnic contacts. Explanations for the findings are offered and discussed in light of the theoretical expectations presented at the outset of this article.

Volume: 25

Issue: 6

From page no: 693

To page no: 708

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/ESR/JCN075

Journal: European Sociological Review

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