Methods

The multifaceted and interactive nature of interethnic relations between the Bulgarian majority and both the Roma and Turkish minority groups calls for a mixed methods approach. Three sources of data are used. The quantitative and qualitative parts of this research are integrated according to recent models of mixed methods research.

First, existing secondary social survey data (e.g., International Social Survey Programme ISSP, Eurobarometer, European Social Survey ESS) are employed. For example, multilevel analyses across 28 Bulgarian regions are conducted to examine how contextual factors impact attitudes of the Bulgarian majority towards minorities.

Second, we carry out a cross-sectional survey across three regions in Bulgaria with differing proportions of Roma and Turkish minorities. Questionnaires are administered in face-to-face interviews among the Bulgarian majority and the Roma and Turkish minorities. The regions are chosen on the basis of differing proportions of Roma and Turkish minorities that also reflect regional disparities in living standards. This sampling design provides the opportunity to investigate the effects of three region-based intergroup contexts on interethnic attitudes.

Third, semi-directive interviews among both majority and minority groups are conducted in parallel to the survey. The interviews assess rhetoric repertoires, everyday discourse on dimensions of prejudice, prevalent stereotypes about ethnic groups, explanations of prejudice, interpretation of intergroup contact and identity content. They will provide more personal and in-depth accounts of interethnic relations and thus enrich our understanding of the interactive nature of intergroup attitudes.