ISPP 2014 37th Annual Scientific Meeting, 4-7 July, Rome (IT)

RomaOral presentation: Visintin, E. P., Green, E. G. T., Bakalova, D., Zografova, Y. (2014). Support for multiculturalism in contemporary Bulgaria: The beneficial effects of national identity and ethnic minorities’ presence.

Abstract: Bulgaria is historically a multicultural society, composed of the Bulgarian (ethnic) majority and a number of ethnic minority communities among which Bulgarian Turks and Roma are the largest. Both minority communities are stigmatized in contemporary Bulgaria, though to different degrees and for different reasons. Basing on intergroup contact (Brown & Hewstone, 2005) and common ingroup literature (Gaertner & Dovidio, 2000), the purpose of this study was to examine individual- and context-level antecedents of majority support for multicultural policies in favour of ethnic minorities. Multilevel regression analysis was applied to data from the International Social Survey Programme ISSP 2003 (N = 918 Bulgarian majority respondents, N = 28 Bulgarian districts). At the individual-level, an ethnic conception of the nation and prejudice against Roma were negatively related to support for multicultural policies in Bulgaria, whereas common ingroup identification (i.e., with the nation) was positively related to policy support. Over and above individual-level effects, and in line with recent extensions of intergroup contact theory (Wagner, Christ, Pettigrew, Stellmacher, & Wolf, 2006), the percentage of Turks within districts was positively related to support for multicultural policies. A higher percentage of Roma within districts instead was related to stronger support for multiculturalism only in districts with a high proportion of Bulgarian Turks. The beneficial effects of ethnic minorities’ presence and theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed in light of Bulgaria’s socialist legacy.

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