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Social foundations of prejudice: The role of parents, peers and intergroup contact in the development of prejudice in adolescence

Research project What is the relative influence of peers, parents, and intergroup contact on the development of prejudice during adolescence? How do parents, peers and intergroup contact interact to produce prejudice?

This project examines the development of prejudice in adolescence, with a particular focus on parents, peers and intergroup contact as key socialization contexts.

Head of project

Andrea Bohman
Associate professor
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period:

2017-01-01 2019-12-31

Funding

Riksbankens jubileumsfond

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Sociology

Research subject

Sociology

Project description

This project examines the development of prejudice in adolescence, with a particular focus on parents, peers and intergroup contact as key socialization contexts. The topic is motivated by the need to understand how processes of social influence unfold during adolescence; a critical time for attitude formation. By making use of unique panel data, we aim to overcome two main shortcomings in previous research, namely the lack of longitudinal analyses and the lack of analyses that consider more than one socializing context simultaneously. Drawing on central theories of social influences and attitude formation, we address two questions that previous scholarship has failed to answer: What is the relative influence of peers, parents, and intergroup contact on the development of prejudice during adolescence? How do parents, peers and intergroup contact interact to produce prejudice? Only by studying the influence of parents, peers and intergroup contact simultaneously and over time, can we sort out who matters to adolescents' attitudes, and under what conditions. Doing so will not only enhance our understanding of how prejudice develops during adolescence, but also advance research on attitudes in general, as well as improve knowledge of how prejudice can be reduced.