Diversity and social identity complexity (completed)

Katharina Schmid and Miles Hewstone (both University of Oxford)

The project examines how people negotiate their multiple identities in the context of (super-) diverse neighbourhoods. Within Social Psychology literature, the extent to which people integrate their multiple identities in a complex, differentiated and inclusive identity structure is referred to as social identity complexity. Social identity complexity has important consequences for intergroup relations, being typically associated with more positive intergroup attitudes, more tolerance, and greater support for affirmative action. Moreover, prior research has shown that majority members living in ethnically diverse neighborhoods have, in many ways, a more complex identity structure and, consequently, have more positive intergroup attitudes. Such earlier research has also shown that positive intergroup contact may prompt greater social identity complexity.
This project builds upon previous studies, but extends them in important ways. For instance, this project includes a minority perspective in order to examine in-depth the extent to which exposure to (super-) diverse contexts is linked with social identity complexity for both majority and ethnic minority members; in addition, the project addresses consequences of social identity complexity for a range of attitudes as well as well-being.

Focused in Birmingham, England, the project entails a survey with 1200 interviews in 92 neighbourhoods.

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