Secondary school pupils’ civic competence, prejudice and discrimination experiences
The aim of the project is to explore how civic competence is taught at schools, as well as to examine pupils’ prejudice and discrimination experiences through the connection of predictors belonging to different domains describing personal and social characteristics of a person. The research will aim to integrate dispositional factors (e.g. personality traits, authoritarianism, social dominance orientation), social psychological phenomena (e.g. role of the intergroup contact, perception of real and symbolic threat) and sociological aspects related to prejudice and discrimination (e.g. socio-economic status of a pupil, parents’ education, multiple vs. exclusionary understanding of identity, attitude towards cultural diversity). As criteria variables, the research will cover different types of prejudice (ethnic, religious, gender prejudice etc.) and generalized prejudice (composite variable representing generalized proneness to prejudice, based on the observation that the results on the different prejudice type scales often highly correlate). The extent to which the topics of prejudice, discrimination and interculturalism are present in curricula of the relevant school subjects will also be examined, i.e. it will be investigated how much, in what way and within which school subjects pupils learn about these topics at school. The aim of this part of the research is to answer the question of what educational system does to diminish the frequency and the intensity of prejudice and discrimination.
The purpose of the combined sociological and psychological approach is to enable better prediction and understanding of prejudice and discrimination, as well as to uncover educational possibilities of their reduction.
We believe that this project’s value lies in the fact that it will aim to integrate different approaches to understanding prejudice and discrimination, while most of the research focuses on one of the approaches. During the last years, the integration of the predictors from different domains (personal and social) is seen as the logical extension of the work concerning prejudice and discrimination. The research will provide basis for a doctoral dissertation production and serve as an empowerment for the process of application for international projects.
Ajana Löw Stanić
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Zagreb