Factors influencing interracial mixing: among university students in South Africa

L M Flusk, Lionel Nicholas, Kitty Dumont

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    This study examined the probable reasons for the lack of interracial contact among 188 (142 black, 25 white and 19 coloured) psychology students, given the high degree of segregation still in existence in South Africa. Respondents completed five self-administered scales; Reason for lack of interracial mixing Affective prejudice; Amount of contact with people of other races; Social distance and Metastereotypes. The most pervasive factor influencing interracial contact for the whole group (79.1 ) was language differences. The statements endorsed by most black participants for lack of interracial contact were differences in behaviour (62.9 ), socioeconomic status (56.0 ) and culture (52.5 ). Coloured participants endorsed statements concerning socio-economic status (61.1 ), culture (42.1 ) and dissociation (42.1 ), while white participants endorsed statements concerning race issues (64.0 ), differences in behaviour (60.0 ) and cultural differences (44.0 ). Metasterotypes and social distance positively influenced prejudice in that an increase in these factors is associated with heightened levels of prejudice. The amount of contact between groups has a negative relationship with prejudice, indicating that increased levels of contact arc associated with a decrease in prejudice. Racial discrimination is still embedded in South African higher education and universities should be engaged in encouraging contact among different groups and aware of its potential for reducing prejudice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)123 - 132
    Number of pages10
    JournalAfrican Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance
    Issue numberSupplement 1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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