Group Processes & Intergroup Relations vol:17 issue:5 pages:617-628
The present study examined how majority perceptions of intergroup relations afford different contact experiences with immigrant minorities. Majority students attending culturally diverse high schools first completed a survey that measured the extent to which they perceived immigrant minorities as either threatening to the majority or discriminated by the majority. Two weeks later, the same majority students kept a 1-week diary of their contacts with immigrant minorities. As expected, perceived threat at premeasurement was positively associated with situated threat-related appraisals and emotions (e.g.,fear) during everyday contacts with immigrant minorities 2–3 weeks later. In contrast, acknowledgment of discrimination at premeasurement was positively associated with perspective taking and enrichmentrelated appraisals and emotions (e.g., admiration). These findings suggest that generalized threat perceptions can become self-enforcing through repeated threatening contact experiences; but also that an alternative perception of minorities as disrespected by the majority may underlie more positive contact experiences.