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Open AccessCommunication

Outgroup Contact, Anti-Foreigner Attitude, and Social Cohesion in the Caucasus: Evidence from a Population-Based Survey

Department of Sociology, College of Social Sciences, Ewha Womans University, 52 Ewhayeodae-gil Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 03760, Korea
Soc. Sci. 2019, 8(6), 179; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8060179
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 10 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Contemporary Politics and Society)
A substantial literature has emerged examining the relationship between ethnic diversity due to immigration and social cohesion in the host country. Empirical evidence concerning this relationship, however, remains inconsistent, if not contradictory. Aside from rare exceptions, the bulk of evidence is also based on North American and European countries. The present study focuses on a novel empirical context: Georgia, a country located in the South Caucasus. Based on multilevel modeling of population-based data, it examines the associations between outgroup contact and attitude toward immigrants and two measures of social cohesion: generalized trust and civic engagement. Results show that net of controls at individual and regional levels, a negative orientation toward foreigners significantly predicts lower trust in generalized others. Frequency of outgroup contact, on the other hand, is positively related to civic participation. This linkage is also weaker in geographic areas with higher levels of anti-immigrant attitude. A major policy implication from this study is to encourage more intergroup contact through effective residential integration, amongst other measures. View Full-Text
Keywords: outgroup contact; anti-foreigner attitude; social cohesion; immigration outgroup contact; anti-foreigner attitude; social cohesion; immigration
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Kim, H. .-S. Outgroup Contact, Anti-Foreigner Attitude, and Social Cohesion in the Caucasus: Evidence from a Population-Based Survey. Soc. Sci. 2019, 8, 179.

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