Intergroup Contact, Intergroup Anxiety, and Attitudes towards the Opposing Group in Divided Society
Keywords:contradictory conflict narratives, acculturation, intergroup anxiety, quantity of interethnic contact
AbstractThe negative attitudes and negative emotions play a key role in maintaining the hostilities between the groups of a divided society. Evidence suggests that intergroup contact can improve or worsen intergroup attitudes. The current study examined the mediating role of intergroup anxiety on quantity of interethnic contact and acculturation attitudes and emotional responses to contradictory conflict narratives in a divided society with a background of armed conflict in the past. The study was conducted among 202 Albanians and 239 Serbs in Kosovo. The results indicate that as more as they meet members of the opposing group the less they feel intergroup anxiety and the more they show acculturation attitudes towards the opposing group among both Albanians and Serbs. However, such mediating role of intergroup anxiety was not found on emotional responses to contradictory conflict narratives, except among Serbs who live in certain enclaves. The findings are discussed in terms of context, reconciliation, and maintenance of frozen conflict.