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Intergroup Relations among the Ethiopian Youth


  • Tesfaye Semela


This study examines the level of intergroup relations among Ethiopian university students coming from ethnically and religiously diverse backgrounds. The article conceptualized intergroup contact in terms of students’ cross-group friendship. It investigates the extent to which intergroup contact is affected by attitude towards other ethnic (IEA) and religious (IRA) groups, their perceived cross-ethnic cohesiveness (CEC), ethnic-orientation, and patriotism. Data were gathered based on a survey of 188 students drawn from one of Ethiopia’s public higher education institutions. The findings reveal that the majority of the students showed favorable attitude towards other ethno-cultural and religious groups, and attitude towards other ethnic groups (IEA) is found to be independent of one’s ethnic background. Nevertheless, while cross-ethnic friendship is negatively affected by language difficulties, failure to make friends from religious out-group is associated with strong conformity with the teachings of the respective religions. Finally, the article forwards policy recommendations for increased intercultural understanding and improved intergroup relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Tesfaye Semela, 2012. "Intergroup Relations among the Ethiopian Youth," Journal of Developing Societies, , vol. 28(3), pages 323-354, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jodeso:v:28:y:2012:i:3:p:323-354

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