Enhancing intergroup relations among children: A field test of the Miller-Brewer model

Yisrael Rich, Peri Kedem, Aviva Shlesinger

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    9 Scopus citations


    Miller and Brewer's theoretical model was tested in a field experiment intended to reduce intercultural conflict between religious and secular Jewish Israeli children. 74 religious and 69 secular children participated in a joint enrichment program for gifted youth. Contact between the two groups was arranged so as to manipulate decategorization, by teaching academic content with an Interpersonal or Task orientation. In addition, the small activity groups in the enrichment programs were established according to Cross-cutting (Gender × Religiousness) or Convergent boundaries. Social acceptance of outgroup children was measured at the first session and after 6 weeks. At the tenth session generalization was measured. Results comparing the sixth session to the first, showed an increase in social acceptance towards religious outgroup members among ingender persons only, and for task oriented classes only. Generalization results indicated that the religious ingroup bias, exhibited at the first session, was eliminated. These findings raise questions regarding the applicability of the Miller-Brewer model when the conflict is real and intense, and field study rather than laboratory analogue conditions prevail.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)539-553
    Number of pages15
    JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1995

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This project was sponsored by the Bar-Ban University Division of Scientific Activities for Youth and was partially supported by the Shnitzer Foundation for Research on the Israeli Economy and Society. Requests for reprints should be sent to Professor Yisrael Rich, School of Education, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel.


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