In this paper we analyze the attitudes toward racism of native-born and immigrant pre-adolescents and adolescents attending school in Italy. In this analysis, the motivations of these attitudes are especially considered and great emphasis is placed on the role of culture in affecting them. We adopt a broad definition of culture, which includes not only the traditional concepts encompassed by this term, such as beliefs, values, norms, and habits of a specific society or group, but also socio-economic factors, which can strongly influence psychological processes. Different perspectives in youths' attitudes toward racism are especially related to their belonging either to the majority or minority group. Motivations underlying youths' attitudes toward racism are complex and are often characterized by ambiguities and contradictions. In these attitudes, "perceived threat" plays a major role. The relationship between knowledge (and lack or dearth thereof) and perception of threat is examined and the interactions among perception of threat, hate, resentment, envy, and knowledge are also analyzed. Data are drawn from a study we conducted on pre-adolescent and adolescent pupils with the use of anonymous open-ended essays. Results are also discussed with reference to the macro socio-cultural context and to the competitive life pattern prevailing in our society.
Youth's attitudes toward racism: a psycho-socio-cultural perspective
Contributo in volume
Dunaújváros College Press, Dunaújváros, HUN
Conflict in a Society in Transition, edited by B. A. Szegál & András I., pp. 79–95. Dunaújváros: Dunaújváros College Press, 2011