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Intergroup Prejudice in Multiethnic Settings

J. Eric Oliver and Janelle Wong
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 47, No. 4 (Oct., 2003), pp. 567-582
DOI: 10.2307/3186119
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3186119
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Intergroup Prejudice in Multiethnic Settings
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Abstract

This article examines how out-group perceptions among Asian Americans, blacks, Latinos, and whites vary with the racial composition of their surroundings. Previous research on the contextual determinants of racial attitudes offers mixed expectations: some studies indicate that larger percentages of proximate out-groups generate intergroup conflict and hostility while others suggest that such environments promote interracial contact and understanding. As most of this research has been directed at black-white relations, the applicability of these theories to a multiethnic context remains unclear. Using data that merge the 1992-1994 Multi-City Study of Urban Inequality and 1990 Census, we find that in neighborhood contexts, interethnic propinquity corresponds with lower levels of out-group prejudice and competition, although intergroup hostility is higher in metropolitan areas with greater minority populations. Further tests suggest that these results do not occur from individual self-selection; rather ethnic spatial and social isolation bolster negative out-group perceptions. These findings suggest the value of residential integration for alleviating ethnic antagonism.

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