Intergroup Contact Theory : Recent developments and future directions book cover
1st Edition

Intergroup Contact Theory
Recent developments and future directions

ISBN 9781138182318
Published December 13, 2016 by Routledge
198 Pages

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Book Description

Intergroup contact theory has been one of the most influential theories in social psychology since it was first formulated by Gordon Allport in 1954. This volume highlights, via a critical lens, the most notable recent developments in the field, demonstrating its vitality and its capacity for reinvention and integration with a variety of seemingly distinct research areas.

In the last two decades, the research focus has been on the variables that explain why contact improves intergroup attitudes and when the contact-prejudice relationship is stronger. Current research highlights that contact is not a panacea for prejudice, but it can represent a useful tool that can contribute to the improvement of intergroup relations. The book includes coverage of a number of previously under-researched fields, which extend the full potential of contact theory within the personality, acculturation and developmental domains. The chapters also examine the methodological advances in the field and the applied implications.

The book offers a rich picture of the state of the field and future directions for research that will be invaluable to students and scholars working in social psychology and related disciplines. It aims to provide fertile ground for the development of new, exciting and dynamic research ideas in intergroup relations.

Table of Contents

List of contributors. Introduction – The Present and the future of the contact hypothesis, and the need for integrating research fields  1. Individual differences in intergroup contact propensity and prejudice reduction  2. The influence of direct and extended contact on the development of acculturation preferences among majority members  3. The irony of harmony: Past and new developments  4. A temporally integrated model of intergroup contact and threat (TIMICAT)  5. Investigating positive and negative intergroup contact: Rectifying a long-standing positivity bias in the literature  6. The extended intergroup contact hypothesis: State of the art and future developments  7. A future focus for imagined contact: Advances in and beyond intergroup relations  8. Intergroup contact among children  9. Concluding thoughts: The past, present and future of research on the contact hypothesis.  Index

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Loris Vezzali is Associate Professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, where he teaches Social and Group Psychology. His main research interests concern intergroup relations and, in particular, strategies for the reduction of explicit and implicit prejudice.

Sofia Stathi is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, UK, where she teaches Social and Cultural Psychology and Social Cognition. Her research focuses mainly on intergroup relations, categorization processes, and multiculturalism.


'Readers interested in the latest theoretical and methodological iterations of Allport’s classic Contact Theory for reducing prejudice need to keep this edited volume close to their desks. The volume brings together leading international scholars who offer new insights into how to improve intergroup relations and set the scholarly agenda on this topic for many years to come. Each chapter details recent developments that address the strengths and limitations of the contact approach for achieving intergroup harmony and social justice. I highly recommend it!' Sam Gaertner, Trustees’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Delaware, USA