Fear, hate, resentment, and envy in youths' racist attitudes toward immigrants

In our research studies on Italian youths' attitudes toward multiculturalism we have identified fear, hate, resentment, and envy among the most significant emotions underlying youths' racism toward immigrants. The specific constituents of these emotions are analyzed within the context of cross-cultural relations and, more precisely, of youths' attitudes toward cultural diversity. The role of the (social, political, economic) macro-context in, according to cases, raising, fuelling, or reducing these emotions is also considered. In particular, perception of social cohesion and of social justice appears to play a major role. What is more, it can be clearly seen that in various ways these emotions and these perceptions are related to knowledge, another element of the theoretical model I am proposing. Here knowledge embraces such conceptualizations as general information regarding immigration, the various types of social patterns provided by school and the family relating to attitudes toward multiculturalism, and the different experiences of direct contact with specific immigrants. Furthermore, also the contradictions in some youths' racist attitudes are mentioned and briefly analyzed. Finally, educational suggestions are provided aiming to develop youths' deeper awareness as to the various constituents of their racist attitudes and, consequently, to foster more positive attitudes toward diversity.

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Contributo in atti di convegno
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"Terrorism and Aggression: Towards Increased Freedom and Security", 6th Annual CICA-STR International Conference, pp. 47–48, Burgas, Bulgaria, 8-11 September 2012
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Camilla Pagani's picture
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