Carry-over of contact effects from acquainted to unacquainted targets

Joseph Schwarzwald, Sarah Fridel, Michael Hoffman

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5 Scopus citations


This study assesses the degree to which changes in interethnic acceptance, due to contact under integration, generalize to one’s views of unknown or stereotypic group members. Subjects consisted of 2,530 seventh-, eighth-, and ninth-grade Western and Middle-Eastern students in integrated Israeli junior high schools. A unidimensional scale was employed to measure willingness to engage in activities of varying degrees of intimacy with acquainted classmates from both Western and Middle-Eastern origins, as well as with unacquainted potential classmates depicted in stereotypic ethnic photographs. Facilitating effects hypothesised for contact were reflected in the finding that prior acquaintance significandy elevated the degree of social acceptance that subjects reported for target persons of both groups, even though this effect of acquaintance did not alter with duration of contact. Changes in the pattern of inter-ethnic acceptance from acquainted targets did not carry over in acceptance patterns for unacquainted targets. Analysis suggested that respondents used educational status as the determinant of acceptance for acquainted targets, but continued to employ ethnicity in regard to unacquainted targets. These findings were discussed in regard to the theoretical meaning of contact and possible options to boosting successful integration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-311
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1985

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1. The study was supported by the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities.


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