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Effects of Intergroup Contact on Attitudes of Chinese Urban Residents to Migrant Workers

Ingrid Nielsen (), Chris Nyland, Russell Smyth (), Mingqiong Zhang and Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu
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Chris Nyland: Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia, Chris.Nyland@BusEco.monash.edu.au
Mingqiong Zhang: Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia, Mingqiong.Zhang@BusEco.monash.edu.au
Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu: Department of Management, Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia, Cherrie.Zhu@BusEco.monash.edu.au

Urban Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 3, 475-490

Abstract: One consequence of China's marketisation has been the emergence of a 'floating population'-rural Chinese who migrate to China's cities to work. Many urbanites have negative attitudes towards such migrants. To understand how these negative attitudes might be ameliorated, the paper employs Allport's influential contact hypothesis to investigate whether urbanite-migrant friendships affect attitudes. More negative attitudes were observed among males and older urbanites. There was no effect of simply knowing a migrant, supporting Allport's thesis that non-intimate contact is not sufficient to affect attitudes. Friendship alone did not influence attitudes, but interaction effects were detected between having migrant friends and each of age, income and education. Negative attitudes were reduced among urbanites in older, higher-income and higher-education groups if they had a migrant friend.

Date: 2006
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