Imagine all the people: Contact interventions and prejudice towards immigrants in schools
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Jones, S. (2019) Imagine all the people: Contact interventions and prejudice towards immigrants in schools. The Psychologist, 32, pp. 38-41.
The world that John Lennon imagined in 1971 seems like a far cry from the one we see today. In our increasingly globalized world, rather than sharing among people, recent years have seen a sharp rise in anti-immigrant sentiment in society, and in social exclusion of immigrants, including among children in schools. But John Lennon might not have been far from the mark in suggesting that the power of imagining more harmonious group relations. Research suggests that interventions grounded in imagined intergroup contact (i.e., imagined interaction between social groups) may improve social relations, and reduce prejudice. Such interventions have much promise, but has research shown that they can change behavior towards immigrants? In this article, I highlight how this body of psychological research might inform educational interventions that aim to reduce this prejudice.