Societies 2014, 4(1), 30-44; doi:10.3390/soc4010030
Article

Patterns of Intergroup Contact in Public Spaces: Micro-Ecology of Segregation in Australian Communities

Received: 14 October 2013; in revised form: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 20 December 2013 / Published: 7 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cross-racial and Cross-ethnic Personal and Group Relationships)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: The use of public spaces can promote social cohesion and facilitate interpersonal interactions within the community. However, the ways racial and ethnic groups interact in public spaces can also reflect and influence informal segregation in the wider community. The present study aimed to examine patterns of intergroup contact within public spaces in Victoria, Australia through short-term observation in four localities. Data were collected on within-group, intergroup and absence of contact for people from minority and majority groups. A total of 974 contacts were observed. Findings indicate that in the observed public spaces, people from visible minority groups tended to have no contact with others or to interact with people from other ethnic/racial groups. In contrast, those from the majority group tended to interact predominately with other majority group members. This suggests that majority group members are more likely to ‘self-segregate’ in public spaces than those from minority groups.
Keywords: intergroup contact; public space; segregation; Australia; observation; diversity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Priest, N.; Paradies, Y.; Ferdinand, A.; Rouhani, L.; Kelaher, M. Patterns of Intergroup Contact in Public Spaces: Micro-Ecology of Segregation in Australian Communities. Societies 2014, 4, 30-44.

AMA Style

Priest N, Paradies Y, Ferdinand A, Rouhani L, Kelaher M. Patterns of Intergroup Contact in Public Spaces: Micro-Ecology of Segregation in Australian Communities. Societies. 2014; 4(1):30-44.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Priest, Naomi; Paradies, Yin; Ferdinand, Angeline; Rouhani, Lobna; Kelaher, Margaret. 2014. "Patterns of Intergroup Contact in Public Spaces: Micro-Ecology of Segregation in Australian Communities." Societies 4, no. 1: 30-44.

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