chapter  9
31 Pages

Intergroup contact through friendship: intimacy and norms

ByKRISTIN DAVIES, STEPHEN C. WRIGHT, ARTHUR ARON, JOSEPH COMEAU

After more than a half century of investigation, the Intergroup Contact Hypothesis (Allport, 1954), which posits that cross-group interaction can encourage positive intergroup attitudes, has emerged as social psychology’s foremost strategy for reducing prejudice and improving interpersonal interaction across groups (see Dovidio, Glick, & Rudman, 2005; Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). In one of the most important recent additions to this model, Pettigrew (1998) proposed that there is something special about friendship, making it the type of cross-group relationship most likely to produce positive intergroup attitude change. Furthermore, there is growing research evidence that friendship yields larger positive effects on intergroup attitudes than other less intimate forms of contact (e.g., Davies, Tropp, Aron, Pettigrew, & Wright, 2011).