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A Minority-status Perspective on Intergroup Relations: A Study of an Ethnic Chinese Population in a Small Italian Town


  • Ingrid Nielsen
  • Olga Paritski
  • Russell Smyth


This study models the effects on attitudes and behaviour of intergroup contact between minority-status Chinese residents and majority-status residents in the Tuscan city of Prato in Italy. The study contributes to theory by building upon Allport’s original contact thesis through modelling the effects of intimate and non-intimate contact on behaviour, over and above their effects on attitudes in a setting in which a high proportion of the minority-status residents are international migrants. Results indicate that neither friendship nor non-friendship contact have significant effects on minority Chinese residents’ attitudes towards majority-status residents; however, minority Chinese residents who report having more friends among majority-status residents report more positive behaviour towards them. This result demonstrates the utility of not only differentiating between more intimate friendship contact and incidental non-friendship contact, but also differentiating between attitudinal and behavioural measures in the assessment of intergroup relations.

Suggested Citation

  • Ingrid Nielsen & Olga Paritski & Russell Smyth, 2012. "A Minority-status Perspective on Intergroup Relations: A Study of an Ethnic Chinese Population in a Small Italian Town," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 49(2), pages 307-318, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:urbstu:v:49:y:2012:i:2:p:307-318

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    Cited by:

    1. Ingrid Nielsen & Sen Sendjaya, 2014. "Wellbeing Among Indonesian Labour Migrants to Malaysia: Implications of the 2011 Memorandum of Understanding," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 919-938, July.
    2. Braakmann Nils & Wildman John & Waqas Muhammad, 2017. "Are Immigrants in Favour of Immigration? Evidence from England and Wales," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16, February.
    3. Jun Gu & Annika Mueller & Ingrid Nielsen & Jason Shachat & Russell Smyth, 2015. "An experimental study of contact effects and their persistence on Malawian shopkeepers’ willingness to spend future time with their Chinese counterparts," Monash Economics Working Papers 04-15, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    4. Gu, Jun & Mueller, Annika & Nielsen, Ingrid & Shachat, Jason & Smyth, Russell, 2015. "Reducing prejudice through actual and imagined contact: A field experiment with Malawian shopkeepers and Chinese immigrants," Working Papers on East Asian Studies 105/2015, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of East Asian Studies IN-EAST.

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