Luca Váradi: The Sociology of Ethnic Prejudice: Understanding Anti-Semitic, Anti-Roma and Xenophobic Attitudes 2013 - 2014 Fall

This course will focus on ethnic prejudice and specifically on the sociological understanding of prejudice against certain minority groups as the Jews, the Roma and the immigrants. We will examine the most influential classical theories of prejudice and will deal with the more recent developments in this field of research. The aim of the course is to give the participants an insight into the highly diverse and multi-disciplinary field of prejudice research and to show that the notion of prejudice is present in various concepts of nationalism studies as identity-formation, inter-group conflicts and majority-minority relations.

In the first part of the semester the concept of prejudice and the main approaches and dilemmas of prejudice research will be in the focus. After an introduction to the field we will examine the consequences of prejudice from the targets’ point of view on both the individual and the group levels. In order to be able to critically review the results of surveys on prejudices we will overview the research methods and will discuss the pitfalls of cross-cultural prejudiceresearch. Then we willlook at various forms of prejudice based on results of recent national and international surveys.

In the second part of the semester we will discuss the answers to the question “Why people have prejudices?” Theories will be presented according to a multi-level approach separating micro-meso- and macro-level factors. Finally, the possibility of prejudice reduction will be discussed overviewing the methods of intervention and prevention among adults and the possibilities of prejudice-reduction in a school setting.