September 10, 2021, 11:30–12:30
Room Auditorium 4
The global refugee crisis and public backlash against immigrants and immigration is at an all time high. What interventions might combat negative sentiments, especially where the vast majority of such individuals are hosted — the Global South? Building on theories from the communications field, we propose that listening to personal narratives may be an effective strategy for mitigating negative views toward immigrant outgroups. We record two personal narratives developed in collaboration with members of the Somali community in Kenya, which highlight: (1) refugee hardships, and (2) shared opposition to terrorism. Experimental data from a representative survey in Nairobi shows that both treatments have positive effects on intergroup and policy attitudes. Strikingly, the effects are generally equally large among those holding more negative versus positive predispositions. We conclude that personal narratives may offer an effective strategy for attenuating both negative intergroup and policy attitudes that are typically considered resistant to change.
Kristin Michelitch (Vanderbilt University), “Personal Narratives Reduce Negative Attitudes toward Refugees and Immigrant Outgroups: Evidence from Kenya”, IAST General Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, September 10, 2021, 11:30–12:30, room Auditorium 4.