Title: The relationship between ethnic group affiliation and representations of multiculturalism: a study of young Black and White British people

Authors: Babette Gekeler, Helene Joffe

Addresses: UCL Department of Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK. ' UCL Department of Psychology, University College London, 26 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AP, UK

Abstract: This study explores the link between affiliation to one|s own group and the endorsement of multiculturalism, among a sample of young White and Black British people. The White British (dominant) and Black British (non-dominant) group are tested with regard to a difference between in-group affiliation and endorsement of multicultural ideology. Existing work in this field advocates an ideological asymmetry hypothesis, holding that the more one identifies with one|s own group the less open one is towards other groups. Taking into account other factors, and thereby challenging existing findings, this study puts forward the hypothesis that the more someone identifies with their own group the more open they are towards other groups, termed the ideological symmetry hypothesis. One hundred and twelve young adults completed questionnaires measuring group affiliation and attitudes towards different aspects of a multicultural environment. High levels of affiliation with one|s own group were found to be linked to stronger endorsement of multicultural ideology for both groups. However, the non-dominant group was found to show both higher levels of group affiliation and endorsement of multiculturalism. The findings are discussed in relation to conflicting theoretical assumptions and the implications of the results for prejudice.

Keywords: cross-cultural management; social representations; multiculturalism; ethnic group affiliation; ethnic groups; Black British; White British; multicultural ideology; ideological symmetry; prejudice.

DOI: 10.1504/EJCCM.2010.032000

European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management, 2010 Vol.1 No.2/3, pp.248 - 265

Published online: 03 Mar 2010 *

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