Project title: British majority attitudes towards individual freedom in minorities
Departments: Psychology and Law
Supervisors: Dr Hanna Zagefka and Prof. Ravinder Barn
Student: Jessica Barber
Project outline: This interdisciplinary project will examine the attitudes of the white British majority towards various ethnic minority groups which are resident in the UK. Majority members’ attitudes towards ideals of democracy and freedom, as originally specified by the Magna Carta, will be related to their views on minority identity expression: to which extent are minorities granted the right to assert and express their minority identity and assert their distinctiveness? To which extent do people feel these rights need to be curbed in our modern, digitalised society, to ensure societal cohesion?
For example, while some white British majority members are accepting of expressions of ethnic, religious and cultural differences (e.g. the wearing of head scarves), others are not. The psychological processes underlying the formation and maintenance of these attitudes toward individual freedom will be examined; and they will be used to explain and predict why and when attitudes towards different minority groups might differ.
The investigation will rely on psychological concepts such as perceived intergroup threat and anxiety, and sociological concepts such as superdiversity. The investigation will especially focus on how new digital technologies impact on intergroup attitudes and attitudes towards individual freedom.