A multilevel examination of the moderating role of diversity and tutorial language on intergroup contact in the first-year psychology tutorial programme at Stellenbosch University

Human, Kayla (2017-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: Given South Africa’s long history of ethnic segregation and violence, improving ethnic relations remains an important goal for this country. Evidence suggests that intergroup contact is one of the most effective methods for reducing prejudice and improving intergroup attitudes (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). Furthermore, research has shown that an increase in diversity is positively related to intergroup contact, and subsequently improved intergroup relations. The present study investigated the extent to which diversity (opportunity for contact) within a first-year psychology tutorial class influenced the direct intergroup contact taking place within the tutorial classes. Furthermore, the present study aimed to examine the moderating role of language of tuition on the relationship between diversity and direct contact. A cross-sectional multi-level design was implemented to test the effects of diversity and language of tuition. Data were collected from students registered for the first-year Psychology 144 module at Stellenbosch University (N = 1,154). The findings from the present study show that diversity within the tutorial classroom significantly predicts an increase in direct contact, for both the majority and minority groups. Moreover, students in Afrikaans tutorials experience significantly less direct intergroup contact, compared to those in English tutorials. Tutorial language was also found to significantly moderate the relationship between diversity and direct contact for the white majority group only. For the white majority group the relationship between diversity and direct contact was significantly stronger in the English tutorials compared to the Afrikaans tutorials. The present study contributes to the existing literature of intergroup contact in South Africa, examining the effects of diversity within a smaller everyday setting. Learning how to take advantage of the increasing diversity will enable us to harness the prejudice-reducing effects of intergroup contact.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Gegewe Suid-Afrika se lang geskiedenis van etniese segregasie en geweld, is die verbetering van etniese verhoudings steeds 'n belangrike doelwit vir hierdie land. Bewyse dui daarop dat intergroepkontak een van die doeltreffendste metodes is om vooroordeel te verminder en intergroep houdings te verbeter (Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). Daarbenewens, navorsing het getoon dat 'n toename in diversiteit positief verband hou met intergroepkontak, en gevolglik intergroepverhoudinge verbeter. Die huidige studie het ondersoek ingestel na die mate waarin diversiteit (geleentheid vir kontak) in 'n eerstejaar sielkunde tutoriaalklas die direkte intergroepkontak wat in die tutoriaalklasse plaasgevind het, beïnvloed het. Verder het die huidige studie daarin gepoog om die modereringsrol van onderrigtaal op die verhouding tussen diversiteit en direkte kontak te ondersoek. 'n Dwarssnit veelvuldige-vlakontwerp was geïmplementeer om die effekte van diversiteit en onderrigtaal te toets. Data was ingesamel van studente wat geregistreer is vir die eerstejaar Sielkunde 144-module aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch (N = 1,154). Die bevindings uit die huidige studie toon dat diversiteit in die tutoriaalklaskamer 'n toename in direkte kontak voorspel vir beide meerderheid- en minderheidsgroepe. Daarbenewens ervaar studente in Afrikaanse tutoriale aansienlik minder direkte intergroepkontak, in vergelyking met die Engelse tutoriale. Tutoriaaltaal was bevind om 'n beduidende invloed op die verhouding tussen diversiteit en direkte kontak vir die blanke meerderheidsgroep uit te oefen. Vir die Blanke meerderheidsgroep was die verhouding tussen diversiteit en direkte kontak aansienlik sterker in die Engelse tutoriale, in vergelyking met die Afrikaanse tutoriale. Die huidige studie dra by tot die bestaande literatuur van intergroepkontak in Suid-Afrika, en ondersoek die effekte van diversiteit binne 'n kleiner alledaagse omgewing. Die verbetering van kennis om voordeel te trek uit die toename in diversiteit sal ons in staat stel om die vooroordeelverminderende effek van intergroepkontak te benut.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/102714
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