Kende, Judit, Julia Reiter, Canan Coşkan, Bertjan Doosje, and Eva G. T. Green, The Role of Minority Discrimination and Political Participation in Shaping Majority Perceptions of Discrimination: Two Cross-National Studies, Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 2022
We develop a minority influence approach to multilevel intergroup research and examine whether country-level minority norms shape majority members? perceptions of discrimination. Defining minority norms via actual minority discrimination and political participation, we hypothesized that in national contexts with greater minority experiences of discrimination and greater minority political participation, majority perceptions of discrimination should be higher. We implemented two cross-national multilevel studies drawing on the European Social Survey and Eurobarometer data with 19,392 participants in 22 countries in Study 1, and with 17,651 participants in 19 countries in Study 2. Higher aggregate levels of minority discrimination were not related to greater acknowledgment of discrimination among majority members. However, higher aggregate minority political participation did relate to higher perceptions of discrimination in Studies 1 and 2. We conclude that country-level minority norms are consequential for majority attitudes, but these norms need to be actively communicated through political participation.