Teaching bystander action: forming identities that promote opposition to prejudice towards Muslim people

Emma F. Thomas, Alison J. Clark, Anne Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Prejudice towards Muslim people in Western countries is common and increasing. This paper describes an educational intervention aimed at increasing positive attitudes and actions to support Muslim Australians. University students participated in a 12-week educational programme that drew on prejudice reduction principles and a pedagogical approach that emphasised active discussion. Results (N = 94) showed an increase in positivity towards Muslim people, increased intention to take bystander action to confront prejudice, and social identification (as a supporter of positive relations between Muslim and non-Muslim Australians). Boosts in positivity towards Muslim people and intention to confront prejudice were mediated by increases in social identity, although changes in social identification only explained increased commitment to confront prejudice in a low risk scenario. Results suggest that educational interventions such as these can foster new, inclusive identities that provide a basis for action to support Muslim people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-672
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Bystander action
  • Classroom interaction
  • Educational intervention
  • Prejudice
  • Social identity

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