As current study of contact between groups is somehow limited and self-referential, the present study joins other studies that suggest a deeper examination of intergroup contact in wider social processes which recognize the complex nature of intergroup relationships. A qualitative multiple-methods approach, supported by quantitative measures, was used to study a voluntary dialogue group of religious and secular students in Israel, to reveal its underlying force-driving processes and study its contribution to the enhancement of positive relationships between the groups. The findings reveal the strengths and weaknesses of such voluntary encounters and point to four fundamental factors for the formation and enhancement of this new venue for intergroup contact intervention programs: motivation, cooperation, meeting coordinator and group facilitator, and enjoying the meetings. Possible implications for school pedagogy and for the enhancement of positive intergroup relations are discussed.
- Contact hypothesis
- Intergroup relations