Hege Høivik Bye: Political Solidarity with Asylum Seekers: Effects of Information and Intergroup Contact

Hege Høivik Bye, Associate Professor at the Department of Social Psychology at the University of Bergen will give a talk this Tuesday, presenting a study by herself, Susanne Bygnes and Elisabeth Ivarsflaten.

Hege Høivik Bye

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Intergroup contact has been suggested as a means through which majority group members may develop political solidarity with minority group members. We test this proposition in a survey experiment addressing Norwegians’ (N = 1664) support for increasing versus decreasing governmental allowances to asylum seekers living in reception facilities. Specifically, we address how personal and extended contact with asylum seekers/refugees relates to policy support under conditions of no information about the size of allowances for asylum seekers (n =569), information about the amount only (n = 563), and information about the amount and that the allowance is insufficient to cover necessary expenses (e.g., food and medications, n = 532).

Preliminary analyses indicate that both out-group contact and amount of information contribute to a preference for increasing allowances for asylum seekers. Moreover, both positive and negative extended contact predicted views on asylum-seeker allowances. This study contributes to the emerging literature on intergroup contact and solidarity-based collective action. We find support for the link between intergroup contact and political solidarity with a marginalized out-group among Norwegian majority members. However, we also demonstrate that information may play an important role in generating political solidarity in a context where overall contact levels are low and majority members are likely unaware of specific aspects of minority group members’ circumstances.


Lunch is served at first come, first served basis.