Student attitudes to minority groups in twenty eight countries: What does it mean to be tolerant?

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Abstract

The world is now characterized by increasing levels of violence, conflict and war. Democratic nation-states have also looked inwards to increase their surveillance of citizens and non-citizens alike. Very often, particular groups in the community have been singled out for attention by authorities simply because of their ethnic or religious affiliation. Both national and global contexts, therefore, lead to a questioning of what it means to be tolerant in these new and uncertain times. A secondary analysis of data from the IEA Civic Education was undertaken as one way to better understand how future citizens regard tolerance as a value. The focus was on student attitudes towards community groups— women, ethnic minorities, and immigrants, and anti-democratic groups (i.e. groups with an anti-democratic bias). In general, 90,000 students from twenty eight countries had positive attitudes towards women, ethnic minorities and immigrants but negative attitudes towards anti-democratic groups. There were also significant gender differences in student attitudes to women, ethnic minorities and immigrants, showing that girls were more tolerant than boys. While there were also gender differences in attitudes to anti-democratic groups they were in a different direction— boys were more tolerant of anti-democratic groups than girls. This paper will discuss these results and their implications for the development of tolerant and just societies in these uncertain times.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Citation

Kennedy, K. J. (2005, January). Student attitudes to minority groups in twenty eight countries: What does it mean to be tolerant? Paper presented at the CESHK Annual Conference 2005: Approaches and Strategies in Comparative Education, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.

Keywords

  • Development of Disciplinary Knowledge (e.g. Sociology, Psychology)

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