9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN07 Sociology of Culture

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Images of Self, Strangers and Enemies Building II, C4.07

Image of Foreigners. Adolescent's attitudes and socializations of diversity

My thesis project is the social representation of foreign people among adolescents in Italy and France and their degree of ethnical prejudice. It?s a comparative study focused on the high schools of three towns: Turin and Genes for Italy, Nice for France. The ethnic prejudice is not a merely result of the interaction between different brains, that stimulate deep emotional attitudes of rejection or acceptance of immigrants. My analysis shows that the interethnic attitudes are the results of the interaction of specifics sociological factors such as: a) socio-economical, b) socio-demographics, c) cultural-capital, d) relationship, e) national-ideological. The understanding of the ethnical attitudes needs to integrate the individual level of the social representations (socio-psychological approach) into a contextual level. It is demonstrated that a social representation, like that of immigrant, is a cognitive architecture that take form in a psycho-sociological way. However it is important not to forget that it is the product of the national ideological dominant pattern that reflects the specific socio-political life of the countries. Moreover the social representation needs the sociological variables connected with the actor?s social position to yield visible attitudes. In this way it is shown that interethnic?s attitudes are the results of the foreigners social representation, assumed such as a cognitive tank activated by the above-mentioned factors. This study is conducted by a semi-structured questionnaire, administered on a stratified quota sample of 919 individuals (302 in Turin, 311 in Genes, and 306 in Nice). It was chosen to test an adolescent population, students of the senior class of high school, because it is an important moment to develop ethnical attitudes when the person to get ready to live an important moment of life (such as the end of the secondary educational cycle) that oblige him to develop expectancies about his future and to think deeply about the social circumstances. Main theoretical frameworks employed: Personality and Ideology Theory [Adorno], Contact Theory [Allport], Social Identity Theory [Tajfel], Realistic Conflict Theory [Blumer, Sherif], Ethnic Competition Theory [Scheepers, Coenders]; the Socials Representations School begun by Moscovici until the recent developments [Abric; Moliner; Grize; Doise; Seca].