The Impact of Title: The Impact of Social Identity on Willingness for Contact in Northern Ireland Submitting to: Department of Psychology

Date of Submission: January 15, 2007

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The Impact of Social Identity on Willingness for Contact in Northern Ireland The conflict in Northern Ireland, often referred to as “the troubles,” has resulted in the deaths of 3,585 people and some 40,000 injuries since the late 1960s (Campbell, Cairns, and Mallet 2004). Given that the population of Northern Ireland is only 1.6 million, these figures are considerable. Additionally, due to the nature of the “close-knit fabric” of relationships within Northern Irish communities, the psychological effects of incidents extend beyond the individuals involved and their immediate family members into the community as a whole (Cairns, et al., 133). At the core of the conflict is a disagreement between the people of Northern Ireland who aim to unite with the Republic of Ireland (Nationalists who are generally Catholic) and those who desire to remain part of the United Kingdom (Unionists who are generally Protestant) (Cairns and Darby 1998). In the recent past, much progress has been made to remedy the more concrete problems of the conflict between Protestants and Catholics such as inequality in voting, employment, housing and related matters (Cairns and Darby 1998). However, social divisions in Northern Ireland remain strong, which Muldoon (2004) suggests explains the intractability of the conflict. While improvements have been made, problems that are the result of social divisions rather than clear economic, political, or social inequality have a psychological or symbolic meaning and are more difficult to remedy (Cairns and Darby 1998). Much additional attention must be paid to these issues. Social Segregation and Conflict The pervasiveness of social division in Northern Ireland is readily apparent in many aspects of the society. While segregation is not identified as the principal source of the conflict, it may have a role in maintaining the conflict (Campbell, et al. 2004). Brewer (2001) suggests that intergroup conflict is more serious in highly segmented societies. Even now in Northern Ireland only about 50% of the population lives in mixed neighborhoods, just 11% of marriages are cross-community, and only 5% of students attend integrated schools with equal numbers of Catholic and Protestant children (Campbell, et al. 2004). Schools are thus a very pronounced example of segregation. Integrating or desegregating the society specifically the educational system, which is more easily addressable than marriage or living situation, has been proposed as a promising option to foster lasting peace. Integrated schools arose in the 1980s at the hands of parent facilitators who were dedicated to the advancement of intergroup education. The schools attempt to maintain an equal balance of Protestant and Catholic students, faculty, and staff in order to promote education of children from all backgrounds together (McClenahan, et al. 2003). While still limited in number, there has been an increase from a single integrated school, first established in 1981, to nearly 45 integrated schools in 2000 (McClenahan, et al. 2003). Extensive research on the impact of integrated schooling has not yet been accomplished, partly because it is such a recent phenomenon; however, several studies have been conducted. Results have shown that children who attended integrated schools had a more positive self image and greater self-esteem (McClenahan, et al. 2003). However, researchers indicated that these effects could stem from the fact that children in these schools have parents who are more likely to develop high self-competence and selfesteem in their children. Integrated schools have also been found to encourage tolerance

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of diversity, which is thought to be a key aspect of peace-building (McGlynn 2004), but again parents may be responsible for these outcomes by teaching their children to be tolerant. Simply sending a child to such a school can be seen as a political act on the part of the parent (McClenahan, et al. 2003) and thus the decision for integrated schooling is very complex and not one that is taken lightly. Integrated schooling is an aspect of the culture in Northern Ireland requiring much additional research. The present study will examine attitudes about integrated schooling as well as attitudes regarding other areas of integration and contact in the society of Northern Ireland. One important question for research is the relation between individuals’ identity with the group to which they belong and willingness for contact with the opposing group. Theoretical Perspectives Contact hypothesis. One relevant theoretical framework for supporting efforts at integration in schools is the Contact Hypothesis (Allport 1954), which provides evidence for the benefits that may be gained by intergroup contact. The general assertion of this hypothesis is that communication between individuals of conflicting groups, resulting from their being in contact with one another, will foster mutual understanding of their common values and belief systems. Ideally contact will thus lead to greater acceptance of a person from an opposing group (Allport 1954; Kilpatrick and Leitch 2004). Attempts to promote contact between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland have been initiated. However, as Cairns and Darby (1998) noted, many contacts have emphasized involvement on an individual level (such as integrated holiday activities for children) neglecting to address that the conflict is based on intergroup dynamics. Furthermore, although some areas of Northern Ireland are not residentially segregated and therefore members of the conflicting groups do come into contact with each other regularly, this contact alone has not solved the intergroup problems (Cairns and Darby 1998). Building upon the Contact Hypothesis, Kilpatrick and Leitch (2004) identified four conditions that must be met in order for contact to be beneficial: 1) equal status between the groups; 2) common goals; 3) no competition between the groups; and 4) authority sanction for the contact. These criteria have proven difficult to fulfill in many circumstances. However, in the school setting, all students are considered equal, the school promotes both common goals and cooperation (lack of competition), and the structure of the administration is such that there is authority sanction for the contact. Thus the integrated school setting in Northern Ireland, in theory, may accomplish a beneficial application of the Contact Hypothesis since it potentially meets the four critical conditions for successful contact. Social identity theory. Given that the conflict in Northern Ireland is predominately a social level phenomenon, it is crucial to understand the framework for group beliefs and behavior in order to examine how these elements can affect outcomes. One theory of intergroup behavior appropriate for the examination of attitudes in Northern Ireland is Social Identity Theory (Tajfel and Turner 1979, 1986). This theory asserts that individual members of a group take part in comparisons between in-groups and outgroups in order to formulate their own positive social identity (Tajfel and Turner 1979).

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Tajfel and Turner (1979) propose that a positive perception of one’s own group in the context of in-group/out-group comparisons is gained through differentiating one’s own group from a relevant out-group. Due to this comparison, a bias for one’s own group is established. Tajfel and Turner (1979, 1986) identify three variables necessary for this to occur: 1) one must identify oneself with the pertinent in-group (internalized group membership); 2) the social situation must permit assessment of appropriate characteristics (evaluation of relevant attributes); and 3) only the most relevant out-groups are to be compared as the number of out-groups for any one group is endless (relevant comparison group). All of these criteria are evident in Northern Ireland given that one predominant aspect of the majority of Northern Irish citizens’ identities is religious group membership, that Northern Irish society emphasizes assessment and comparison of groups, and that the two religious groups, Catholic and Protestant, are rooted against one another and serve as the relevant out-groups. Additionally, according to Social Identity Theory there are differences in attitudes and goals of groups of different statuses: ‘superior’ versus ‘inferior’ groups. ‘Superior’ groups view the social situation as legitimate, desiring to maintain the status quo since the present situation supports their social identity positively. For example, the ‘superior’ group could have control over aspects of society such as the politics or the economy and may be viewed as generally better; thus they would like to retain their position. Contrastingly, ‘inferior’ groups view the social situation as illegitimate, adopting instead a social change mentality because the present situation does not support their social identity positively and perhaps even discriminates against them. An example that supports this status discrepancy in the context of Northern Ireland is a study by Irwing and Stringer (2002), which found that Protestants’ beliefs corresponded with protection of the status quo whereas Catholics’ beliefs corresponded with a social change ideology. Since historically Catholics have been identified as the ‘inferior’ group and Protestants as the ‘superior’, this discrepancy is explained by the difference in status element of Social Identity Theory. Cairns and Darby (1998) suggest that Social Identity Theory is fitting for the Northern Irish context since its group-level description allows better explanation of exhibited behaviors than explanations which solely examine individual variables. For example, the individual price of rioting in terms of injury, arrest, or other costs may seem exceptionally high relative to the individual benefit. But when examined at a group level, the benefit potentially could be much greater, for instance by bringing great attention to a certain cause. Various studies examining social identities in Northern Ireland have been conducted via this theoretical framework. Irwing and Stringer (2002) found that the two groups maximally differentiated on key issues of the British state, an expected discrepancy given that Northern Ireland’s status as part of the British state is a critical aspect of the conflict and an element upon which each group defines itself. Neins and Cairns (2002) examined identity management strategies in Northern Ireland through the framework of Social Identity Theory. Their findings suggested that Catholics perceive the government as illegitimate whereas Protestants perceive it as legitimate. Once again, this finding conforms to Social Identity Theory in that the ‘inferior’ group will adopt a social change policy whereas the ‘superior’ group will work to maintain the status quo. It is clear that Social Identity Theory should be applied to gain a better understanding of attitudes in any context of intergroup conflict.

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The Current Study The present work is based on an integration of Social Identity Theory and the Contact Hypothesis. Taken together, these two frameworks suggest that the need for contact is greatest between those possessing the strongest in-group biases. That is, in order to promote further mutual understanding, successful contact experiences are most needed for those with the strongest sense of identity with their own group (Catholic or Protestant). Integrating these two theoretical frameworks suggests that social identity could affect willingness for, and effect of, contact. Since researchers have proposed that negative biases against an out-group could limit the effectiveness of contact, and could even be counter-productive (Amir, 1969, 1979 as cited in Maoz, 2003), strong expressions of social identity in Northern Ireland in the form of in-group bias could make individuals less willing to engage in contact with the other group. Of particular relevance is a study involving varying degrees of out-group attitudes in relation to contact in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which it was found that contact can be more effective for those with strong in-group bias (Maoz 2003). While the more in-group-biased participants showed little motivation to engage in contact and even reported post-contact satisfaction as very low, their post-contact responses to questions of social-distance attitudes were more favorable than their pre-contact responses. The more moderately oriented participants contrastingly showed greater postconflict satisfaction, but no great change in social-distance attitudes, probably due to their already high positive attitudes toward the out-group before contact. The integration of Social Identity Theory and The Contact Hypothesis in the context of Northern Ireland needs much further exploration as it may shed light on the influence of one’s social identity on attitudes toward integration, particularly since integration has been proposed as an option to foster peace between the two conflicting groups. Hypotheses The current study will consider the following elements of Social Identity: strength of identification with the relevant in-group, level of in-group bias, and social change ideology versus maintenance of the status quo. These elements will be examined in relation to attitudes about integration with particular emphasis on schooling, but also in the contexts of the community and the workplace. Based on previous research, the first hypothesis predicts that the stronger one’s in-group identification, the more biased the individual will be to favor the in-group and the less willing the individual will be for contact with the out-group. The second hypothesis predicts that since Catholics have been identified historically as the inferior group, they will conform to social change ideology, and therefore be more willing for contact, as contact is seen as a means of social change whereas Protestants, identified historically as the superior group, will desire to maintain the status quo, and therefore be less willing for contact. Method Participants Participants were 1,800 residents of Northern Ireland. Each participant completed the 2004 Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) survey. To meet eligibility criteria, individuals had to reside in Northern Ireland at the time of the survey and be at least 18

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years of age. In order to ensure that less densely populated areas would be represented, a stratified random sample was conducted in which three geographic regions were identified including Belfast, East of the Bann, and West of the Bann. Within these strata, simple random samples were conducted using Postal Address Files (PAFs) as the sampling frame. A total 3,056 addresses were initially selected using the PAFs. One hundred eighty-one addresses were cut due to their status as vacant, derelict, or commercial. Of the remaining 2,875, six hundred twenty-seven refused participation, 417 were unable to be contacted, and 31 did not participate for other reasons. The remaining 1,800 served as the sample. At each selected address, if more than one resident was age 18 or over, the participant was determined by selecting the person whose date of birth was the closest to the date of the visit. Participants’ ages are presented followed by the population percentages from the 2001 census data to show the comparison: 23% of participants were age 65 and over (13.26% of population), 17% were ages 55-64 years (9.64% of population), 15.5% were ages 45-54 years (11.92% of population), 20.1% were ages 35-44 years (14.65% of population), 13% were ages 25-34 years (14.38% of population), and 11.5% were ages 18-24 years (9.36% of population) (Conflict Archive on the Internet, 2005). Although it appears that some of the age ranges were over-represented, it must be kept in mind that the population percentages are based on all persons in Northern Ireland, including those under age 18, who were not a part of the study. There were 746 male participants (41.4%) and 1,054 female participants (58.6 %) compared to males making up 48.74% of the population and females making up 51.26% of the population, indicating that females are slightly over-represented in the sample (Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, 2005). In terms of marital status, 26.4% of respondents were single/never married, 47.4%were married, 4.4% were living as married, 5.3% separated, 4.5% were divorced, and 11.9% were widowed. Regarding household income, it should first be noted that a total of 549 participants chose not to respond to the question about their household income. For the remaining 1,168 respondents, annual household income ranged from less than £3,000 to more than £50,000. The range for approximately the middle 50% of respondents was roughly between £7,000 and £25,999. T-tests were conducted to examine differences in household income between Catholics and Protestants. The mean income range for Catholics (M = 5.52, SD = 2.37) indicating a range of £10,000 - 19,000 was not significantly different from the mean income range for Protestants (M = 5.68, SD = 2.44) which indicated a range from £10,000 – 19,000, t = 1.061, p= .289. Participants’ highest levels of educational attainment are presented below as percentages of the sample: 14.2% of respondents completed degrees or certifications from universities, colleges of technology, and/or professional institutions; 4.4% completed non graduate teaching qualifications from universities, colleges of technology, and/or professional institutions; 10.9% completed General Certificate of Education A level; 3.3% completed non-graduate teaching qualifications at the national/general certificate or diploma level; 17.6% completed General Certificate of Secondary Education O level, with clerical and commercial training; 3.1% completed Certificate of Secondary Education other than grade 1; 43.4% had no formal qualification; and 3.2% had other levels of qualification (National Statistics, 2001). T-tests were conducted to examine differences in highest educational qualifications between Catholics and

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Protestants. The mean qualification for Catholics (M = 5.03, SD = 2.34) indicating a qualification of GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education), GCE O level, with clerical and commercial qualifications or apprenticeships, Senior Certificate, BTEC, or BEC, was not significantly different from the mean qualification for Protestants (M = 5.23, SD = 2.18) which indicated the same level of qualification. Regarding religion, 11.6% of respondents reported no religious affiliation, 34.5% identified themselves as Catholic, and 53.8% identified themselves as Protestant. In the general population, 3% of all residents in Northern Ireland report belonging to no religion or to a religion other than Catholic or Protestant, 44% identified themselves as Catholic, and 53% identified themselves as Protestant, (National Statistics, 2004). Thus in the 2004 NILT survey, Protestants’ representation directly reflects their proportion of the population, Catholics are slightly underrepresented, and those belonging to other religions or no religion are slightly over-represented. Overall, these percentages show a fairly representative sample. Materials Data for the current study was taken from the 2004 Northern Ireland Life and Times (NILT) Survey. Conducted annually, the NILT survey examines attitudes and behavior of residents of Northern Ireland. Four main purposes for the NILT survey were identified: 1) to monitor public attitudes towards social policy and political issues in Northern Ireland; 2) to provide a time-series on attitudes to key social policy areas; 3) to facilitate academic social policy analysis; and 4) to provide a freely available resource on public attitudes for the wider community of users in Northern Ireland (UK Data Archive 2005). The survey has a repeated cross-sectional design as it has been conducted with new participants each year since 1998 with slight variations. There were a total of 7 sections in the 2004 survey including Background, Men’s Life and Times, Grandparenting and Family Life, Community Relations, Countryside and Farming, Political Attitudes, and Religious Observance. The principal investigators of the 2004 NILT survey were P. Devine of Queen’s University Belfast and L. Dowds of University of Ulster. All data acquired through the NILT surveys are open for public use free of charge and can be accessed via the Internet at http://www.ark.ad.uk/nilt/. The 2004 NILT survey has a total of 188 items, 166 of which were administered via a face-to-face interview and 22 of which were administered via a self-completion questionnaire. The current study used a small subset of 7 items from the face-to-face interview portion. Social Identity. Four questions that were particularly relevant for measuring Social Identity were extracted from the section of the survey entitled Political Attitudes. As the survey was not designed to measure Social Identity as a construct, relevance of each item was determined on the basis of agreement of a panel of researchers for the current study. The Social Identity questions and answer choices are as follows: 1) Would you call yourself a very strong (unionist/nationalist), fairly strong, or not very strong? with answer choices of: very strong, fairly strong, not very strong, and don’t know; 2) Do you think the long-term policy for Northern Ireland should be for it to with answer choices of: remain part of the United Kingdom, reunify with the rest of Ireland, become an independent state, other, and don’t know; 3) If the majority of people in Northern Ireland ever voted to become part of a United Ireland do you think you with answer

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choices of: would find this almost impossible to accept, would not like it, but could live with it if you had to, would happily accept the wishes of the majority, and don’t know; and finally 4) If the majority of people in Northern Ireland never voted to become part of a United Ireland do you think you with answer choices of: would find this almost impossible to accept, would not like it, but could live with it if you had to, would happily accept the wishes of the majority, and don’t know. These questions assess the strength of each participant’s social identity as well as their inclination toward either maintaining the status quo or adopting a social change mentality. Attitudes about Contact. Three questions for measurement of attitudes about contact were extracted from the survey, and relevance again was determined on the basis of agreement of a panel of researchers. Questions and answer choices are as follows: 1) If you were deciding where to send your children to school would you prefer a school with children of only your own religion or a mixed-religion school? with answer choices of: own religion only, mixed religion school, other, don’t know; 2) If you had a choice, would you prefer to live in a neighborhood with people of only your own religion, or in a mixed-religion neighborhood? with answer choices of: own religion only, mixed religion neighborhood, other, don’t know; and 3) If you were working and had to change your job, would you prefer a workplace with people of only your own religion, or a mixed religion workplace? with answer choices of: own religion only, mixed religion workplace, other, don’t know. These questions came from the section entitled Community Relations and examine respondents’ willingness for contact with their relevant out-group. Procedure All interviews were conducted between October of 2004 and February of 2005. Interviewers were employees of Research and Evaluation Services (RES) who attended informational sessions conducted by RES and the NILT researchers for training on how to conduct the survey interviews. Interviewers were instructed to attempt calling in person at each residence 5 times before discontinuing an address. If interviewers were unable to make contact after 5 attempts or received notification of refusal to participate, a replacement address was issued. The households identified for the study were sent a mailing explaining the purpose and method of the survey before participation. The letter also provided contact information for RES and requested consent for participation. Participants completed the interviews in their own homes, participating in face-to-face interviews with an interviewer using computer assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). Participants also completed a self-report questionnaire, which they filled out and gave back to the interviewer either immediately following the interview or at a later date. Information about the average amount of time taken to complete the 2004 survey is not available; however, the 1998 NILT survey of similar length and structure took an average of 40 minutes to complete. All participants who completed the survey were entered into a drawing for three prizes of £500, £300, or £200. Results Summary Statistics

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Chi-square analyses were used to explore the hypothesized pattern of observations for the categorical variables measuring religion and different elements of social identity and willingness for contact. The contingencies are shown in Tables 1-7. Strength of Identity The pattern of observations for the strength of social identity and willingness for contact was first examined. Results are displayed in Table 1. A significant chi-square was found for the analysis of strength of social identity and willingness for contact in all three contexts examined: mixed-religion education, 2 (2, N= 1035) = 27.12, p<.01, phi=.16; mixed-religion neighborhood, 2 (2, N=1079) =32.02, p <.01, phi=.17; and mixed-religion workplace, 2 (2, N=1078) =42.81, p <.01 , phi=.2. Thus for respondents who reported having a very strong or fairly strong identification with their in-group, preferences for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance whereas preferences for integrated (mixed religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. Conversely, for respondents who reported having a weak identification with their in-group, preferences for integrated (mixed-religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance while preferences for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. As the phi values indicate however, the correlations between willingness for contact in these three areas and strength of identity are relatively weak, given that they did not reach the .3 level, which would indicate a moderate correlation. Type of Ideology General Future Policy. The next step was to examine the pattern of observations for ideology and willingness for contact by examining whether preferences regarding the future policy for Northern Ireland, which taps into maintenance of the status quo versus social change ideology, was related to willingness for contact in the three contexts of education, neighborhood, and workplace. The data set was split according to religious affiliation in order to gain a more fitting and explanatory analysis, since Catholics’ and Protestants’ responses to future policy questions are qualitatively different. For example, a Catholic who responded with a preference for Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom differs qualitatively from a Protestant who responded with a preference for Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom. Even though the responses themselves are the same, this response for Catholics, who were historically the persecuted minority and considered the ‘inferior’ group, would have a different meaning than it would for Protestants, who were historically the ‘superior’ group making up a majority of the population. Initial analyses were conducted to explore the pattern of observations for religion and future policy preferences, and the results indicated that the religious categories had different implications for future policy preferences, 2 (2, N= 1632) = 581.78, p<.01, phi=.60. Results are shown in Table 2. Thus Protestants responded with a preference to remain part of the United Kingdom more than expected by chance and responded with preferences for uniting with Ireland or creating an independent state less than expected by chance. Conversely Catholics responded with preferences for uniting with Ireland or creating an independent state more than expected by chance and responded with a preference to remain part of the United Kingdom less than expected by

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chance. Those reporting no religious affiliation responded with a preference for creating an independent state more than expected by chance and responded with preferences to remain part of the United Kingdom or unite with Ireland less than expected by chance. The phi value indicated a fairly strong correlation between these two variables. For Catholics, there was a significant chi-square for future policy preference and willingness for contact in all three contexts examined: mixed-religion education, 2 (2, N= 502) = 28.49, p<.01, phi=.24; mixed-religion neighborhood, 2 (2, N=523) =14.39, p <.01, phi=.17; and mixed-religion workplace, 2 (2, N=524) =12.78, p <.01 , phi=.16. Results are shown in Table 3. For Catholics who desired to unite with Ireland, reported preferences for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance and reported preferences for integrated (mixed-religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. For Catholics who desired Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom or create an independent state, reported preferences for integrated (mixedreligion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance while reported preferences for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. For Protestants, willingness for contact in all three contexts examined varied as a function of future policy preference: mixed-religion education, 2 (2, N= 882) = 27.28, p<.01, phi=.18; mixed-religion neighborhood, 2 (2, N=905) =10.57, p <.01, phi=.11; and mixed-religion workplace, 2 (2, N=903) =6.99, p <.01 , phi=.10. Results are shown in Table 4. For Protestants who reported a desire to remain part of the United Kingdom, preferences for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance whereas preferences for integrated (mixed-religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. For Protestants who reported a desire to unite with Ireland or create an independent state, preferences for integrated (mixed religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance whereas preferences for nonintegrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. For respondents reporting no religious affiliation, chi-squares were non-significant for future policy preference and willingness for contact in each of the contexts examined: mixed-religion education, 2 (2, N= 169) = 3.12, p=.21, phi=.14; mixed-religion neighborhood, 2 (2, N=171) =.93, p =.63, phi=.07; and mixed-religion workplace, 2 (2, N=168) =.84, p=.66 , phi=.07. Results are shown in Table 5 Maintenance of Status Quo. The pattern of observations for ideology and willingness for contact was further explored within respondents who reported a desire to maintain the status quo, i.e., those who preferred for Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom as opposed to Northern Ireland becoming part of a united Ireland. A significant chi-square was found for the desire to remain part of the United Kingdom and willingness for contact in all three contexts examined: mixed-religion education, 2 (2, N= 1319) = 97.52, p<.01, phi=.27; mixed-religion neighborhood, 2 (2, N=1362) =103.55, p <.01, phi=.28; and mixed-religion workplace, 2 (2, N=1360) =97.28, p <.01 , phi=.27. Results are shown in Table 6. Hence for respondents who reported that a united Ireland would be impossible to accept or that they would not like it but could live with it, preferences for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance whereas preferences for integrated

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(mixed-religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. Conversely, for respondents who reported that they desired to remain part of the United Kingdom but would happily accept a united Ireland if it was the majority decision, preferences for integrated (mixed-religion) schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods were greater than expected by chance whereas preferences for nonintegrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. The phi values for these analyses show moderate correlations between these variables. Social Change. The pattern of observations for social change ideology and willingness for contact was also explored within respondents who reported a desire to unify with the rest of Ireland. The desire to unify with Ireland appeared to be an important factor for willingness for contact in all three contexts examined: mixed-religion education, 2 (2, N= 646) = 39.25, p<.01, phi=.25; mixed-religion neighborhood, 2 (2, N=672) =32.65, p <.01, phi=.22; and mixed-religion workplace, 2 (2, N=670) =70.92, p <.01 , phi=.33. Results are shown in Table 7. Therefore for respondents who reported that the possibility of Northern Ireland never uniting with Ireland would be impossible to accept or that they would not like it but could live with it, preference for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance and preferences for integrated (mixed-religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. Alternatively, for respondents who reported that they desired to unify with Ireland but would happily accept it if the majority decision was for Northern Ireland never to unite with Ireland, preferences for integrated (mixed-religion) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were greater than expected by chance and preferences for non-integrated (own-religion only) schools, neighborhoods, and workplaces were less than expected by chance. The phi values for these analyses show moderate correlations between these variables. Discussion Although researchers have examined the effects of intergroup contact (Amir, 1969, 1979 as cited in Maoz, 2003) and aspects of social identity such as in-group bias and group status differences in the context of Northern Ireland (Irwing and Stringer 2002; Neins and Cairns 2002) social identity and contact are typically investigated independently of one another. To gain a more integrated understanding, the present study examined elements of participants’ social identities in conjunction with their desire for contact. The first hypothesis, which proposed that the stronger one’s in-group identification the less willing for contact the individual would be, was supported. Strength of identity was significantly associated with willingness for contact. Hypothesis 2, which proposed that Catholics as the ‘inferior’ group would adopt a social change ideology, whereas Protestants as the ‘superior’ group would desire maintenance of the status quo, was partially supported in the analyses. An individual’s desire for the future policy of Northern Ireland was associated with religion, but willingness for contact, hypothesized as a means of social change, was not always divided along religious lines as predicted. The results relating to hypothesis 1 support previous research based on the framework of Social Identity Theory. In the present study, those with strong social identities conveyed strong in-group bias demonstrated by their unwillingness for contact

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with the out-group. This was true for all contexts examined including education, workplaces, and neighborhoods. This finding supports the assertion that in-group/outgroup comparisons with a focus on differentiation between groups can lead to a bias favoring one’s own group (Tajfel and Turner 1979) and possibly the formation of a positive social identity, although positive/negative perceptions were not specifically measured in this study. Relating to Hypothesis 2, the current study also supports Social Identity Theory in line with the findings from an investigation by Irwing and Stringer (2002), which suggested that Protestants and Catholics have maximally differentiated on key issues of the British state. Catholics have been identified historically as the ‘inferior’ group in Northern Ireland and studies exploring group status differences within the framework of Social Identity Theory have found that Catholics in Northern Ireland adopted a social change ideology as ‘inferior’ groups tend to do (Niens and Cairns 2002). Contrastingly, Protestants have been identified historically as the ‘superior’ group; thus Neins and Cairns (2002) found that Protestants perceive political, social, and economic situations as legitimate and therefore desire to maintain the status quo. Fittingly, analyses of the pattern of observations for religion and future policy preference suggested that the religious categories had different implications for future policy preferences; Protestants responded with a preference to remain part of the United Kingdom more than expected by chance, while by contrast Catholics responded with a preference to unite with Ireland more than expected by chance. As the standing of Northern Ireland as part of the British state has been identified as a root cause of the conflict, this finding is not surprising. The difference in status element was further examined in terms of willingness for contact. It was expected that willingness for contact would be seen as a means of social change and thus Catholics would be more willing for contact and Protestants less willing. This prediction was only partially supported in the analyses. Consistent with the prediction, Catholics who desired Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom or create an independent state reported preferences for integration greater than expected by chance in all three contexts examined. Consistent with the prediction that Protestants would be less willing for contact was the finding that Protestants who reported a desire to remain part of the United Kingdom expressed less willingness for integration. However, Catholics and Protestants did not adopt the predicted preferences for contact uniformly. Future policy preferences were not consistent along religious lines. Analyses of preferences for integration among Catholics who desired to unite with Ireland were contrary to hypothesis 2 as they reported preferences for integration less than expected by chance. There are several possible explanations for this finding. It should first be noted that desiring to unite with Ireland is itself a social change ideology, as it shows desire for change in the present status of Northern Ireland. Thus, these individuals did show a social change ideology but not in terms of willingness for contact. Catholics who desire to unite with Ireland may very likely have strong social identities and stronger in-group bias and thus, based on findings in this and other studies, may be less willing for contact. The implication would be that strength of social identity may outweigh desire for change in the context of contact. Catholics who responded in this way may find integration contrary to their desire to unite with Ireland, since presumably Ireland offers a place in which Catholics would be able to express their unique traditions and heritage as the majority group. Likewise, non-integration could be seen as a means

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to allow exclusive expression of this identity. Additionally, in terms of unwillingness for integration in education, the loss of traditional religious education could be seen as a threat to the Catholic faith. Furthermore, Niens and Cairns (2002) also found that while Catholics tended to view social, economic, and political situations as illegitimate, they also viewed these situations as stable, a belief that could impact future policy responses and willingness for contact. Analyses of the preferences for integration among Protestants who reported a desire to unite with Ireland or create an independent state were also contrary to hypothesis 2 as they reported preferences for integration greater than expected by chance. However, the results indicate that future policy preferences were not consistent across Protestants. As expressed, some Protestant respondents desired social change in their future policy preferences (i.e., either the creation of an independent state or unification with Ireland) and thus perhaps would view social change in other areas such as integration as being acceptable as well. Specifically for Protestants who responded with a desire to unite with Ireland, it is logical that contact with Catholics would be seen as acceptable since uniting with Ireland would result in their being part of a country the majority of which is Catholic. Although willingness for contact did not align along religious lines as predicted, explorations of the attitudes of those who felt very strongly about their future policy preferences did show striking differences in regard to willingness for contact in line with Social Identity Theory. Those who strongly desired Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom (and thus would find it difficult or impossible to accept a united Ireland) favored non-integration more than expected by chance. Similarly, those who strongly desired to unite with Ireland (and thus would find it difficult or impossible to accept remaining part of the United Kingdom) favored non-integration more than expected by chance. This adds support to the idea that the stronger one’s in-group identification, which in this case was expressed in the form of attitudes toward not achieving the outcome favored by one’s group, the less willing for integration the individual will be. The findings from the current study have important implications. First, studies have shown that contact can be more effective for those with strong in-group bias (Maoz 2003). Although the effects of contact suggested by the Contact Hypothesis were not specifically assessed in the current work, this study lends support to the idea that in the context of Northern Ireland, those respondents with strong in-group bias are more opposed to contact, and these individuals could potentially gain the most from contact. Consequently, further initiatives for integration could be a positive step in facilitating peace. Individuals who express bias towards the out-group are not likely to initiate contact themselves. Implications for Policy A large-scale attempt to promote possibilities for contact between the two social groups through the government or other social service organizations seems necessary. Cross-community dialogues supported by governmental agencies offering some incentives could be very effective as a first step toward promoting contact. Discussion groups could help break down barriers and help individuals view the opposing group in a

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less negative way. Additionally, public messages from powerful partisan political leaders emphasizing the importance of contact initiatives could encourage citizen participation. More specifically, education is perhaps the most promising route through which to initiate contact, especially given the finding that integrated schools have been effective in the promotion of peace through encouraging tolerance of diversity (McGlynn 2004). Education is an element of society over which the government has influence, unlike other aspects of life such as choice of neighborhood, employment, and marriage, among others. As other researchers have suggested, perhaps parental preferences should not be considered over what is best for the peace process (McGlynn 2004). Incentives to send children to integrated schools could help to promote educational possibilities aimed at fostering mutual understanding and appreciation among Catholics and Protestants. Perhaps government funding should be increased for the development of such educational opportunities. Strengths and Limitations The current study offers an integrative examination of social identity and attitudes toward contact. The sample size in this study was very large, allowing for a wide crosssection of respondents including those of many different ages, income levels, educational backgrounds, those from both genders, and those from both major religious groups. Despite these strengths, there were also a number of limitations in this study. The interview from which the questions were drawn was taken from a public data set and thus was not designed specifically for the purpose of this study. Consequently, elements such as effectiveness of contact or other reasons for not desiring contact (e.g., quality of education, workplace, or neighborhood environment or convenience of location, among other factors) were not assessed. Additionally, as the study was cross-sectional, changes in attitudes across time could not be assessed. While the large number of participants allowed for collection of responses from a diverse pool, the large sample size may have artificially inflated the results. Future research should use a longitudinal design, allowing for investigation of attitudes before, during, and after contact. Research with such a method could provide comprehensive information about attitudes toward, and effects of, contact. Although randomization of groups, which would be essential in testing the effectiveness of contact programs, would be difficult to achieve, matching subjects may allow for exploration of the effects of integration. An investigation of the differences between those of the same religion with opposing future policy preferences would also provide valuable information. A weakness in the current study was the absence of the measurement of both strength of social identity and future policy preferences in relation to willingness for contact. As seen from the findings inconsistent with hypothesis 2, religion alone is not a good predictor of willingness for contact, especially given the varying degrees of strength in the participants’ social identities. Future studies should be more thorough in examining differences in strength of identity between and within the religious groups and how this may affect willingness for contact. Exploration of other factors such as differences in socio-economic status or education levels may also provide information about elements relating to social identity and attitudes in general. Further studies should also include interviews with students actually in attendance at integrated schools to

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examine their attitudes and changes in these attitudes over time and not simply the attitudes of their parents. This examination of contemporary attitudes in Northern Ireland has shown that group differences continue to impact society greatly. Many people strongly identify with their in-group, an unfortunate consequence of which is less willingness for contact with the out-group. It is unlikely that those with strong identities will voluntarily initiate contact with the out-group, and forced contact most likely would be met with much opposition. The society of Northern Ireland is still greatly polarized, and tensions between the two communities remain high. Although theoretical implications indicate that those with the strongest in-group bias could benefit most from contact, it is possible that resistance to contact efforts would be great and even counterproductive. Given the potential benefits however, contact attempts should not be rejected altogether. Forceful integration may not be the best application currently, but more moderate means may be beneficial. Integration in education should be pursued as one possible option for the promotion of contact since it is an element of society that is readily addressable. Incentives to send children to integrated schools could increase willingness for contact in education, which could in turn produce positive outcomes and reduce bias toward the outgroup.

The Impact of Table 1 Strength of Identity
Strength of identity Education Very strong Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Neighborhood Own religion only Mixed religion Actual Expected Workplace Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Expected Expected Actual Expected Fairly strong

16

Not very strong

67 (>)
48.7

196 (>)
176.7

217 (<)
254.6

38 (<)
56.3

185 (<)
204.3

332 (>)
294.4

47 (>)
26.4

113 (>)
102.3

114 (<)
145.3

57 (<)
77.6

290 (<)
300.7

458 (>)
426.7

30 (>)
12

53 (>)
45.9

40 (<)
65.2

75 (<)
93

349 (<)
356.1

531 (>)
505.8

Note. Values with a (>) sign indicate actual counts greater than the expected value. Values with a (<) sign indicate actual counts less than expected value.

Table 2 Future Policy and Religion
Future policy for Northern Ireland Remain part of UK Religion Catholic Actual Protestant Expected Actual No religion Expected Actual Expected Unite with Ireland Independent state

155 (<)
353.3

289 (>)
121.7

87 (>)
56

822 (>)
614.9

45 (<)
211.8

57 (<)
97.4

109 (<)
117.8

40 (<)
40.6

28(>)
18.7

Note. Values with a (>) sign indicate actual counts greater than the expected value. Values with a (<) sign indicate actual counts less than expected value.

The Impact of Table 3 Future Policy: Catholics
Future policy for Northern Ireland Remain part of UK Education Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Neighborhood Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Workplace Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Expected Expected Expected Unite with Ireland Independent state

17

38 (<)
60.8

140 (>)
111.5

27 (<)
32.7

111 (>)
88.2

133 (<)
161.5

53 (>)
47.3

14 (<)
28.3

67 (>)
51.8

15 (<)
16

140 (>)
125.7

215 (<)
230.2

72 (>)
71

5 (<)
11.2

31 (>)
20.5

2 (<)
6.3

150 (>)
143.8

251 (<)
261.5

85 (>)
80.7

Note. Values with a (>) sign indicate actual counts greater than the expected value. Values with a (<) sign indicate actual counts less than expected value.

The Impact of Table 4 Future Policy: Protestants
Future Policy for Northern Ireland Remain part of UK Education Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Neighborhood Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Workplace Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Expected Expected 204 (>)
191

18

Unite with Ireland

Independent state

332 (>)
308.1

5 (<)
17.4

11 (<)
22.5

449 (<)
472.9

39 (>)
26.6

46 (>)
34.5

Expected

4 (<)
10.7

7 (<)
13.3

600 (<)
613

41 (>)
34.3

49 (>)
42.7

104 (>)
96

1 (<)
5.3

3 (<)
6.7

699 (<)
707

43 (>)
38.7

53 (>)
49.3

Note. Values with a (>) sign indicate actual counts greater than the expected value. Values with a (<) sign indicate actual counts less than expected value.

The Impact of Table 5 Future Policy: No Religion
Future Policy for Northern Ireland Remain Unite with Independent part of UK Ireland state Education Own religion only Mixed religion Neighborhood Actual Expected Actual Expected Own religion only Mixed religion Workplace Own religion only Mixed religion Actual Expected Actual Expected
5 4.9 97 97.1 1 1.9 38 37.1 2 1.3 25 25.7 21 17.1 82 85.9 17 15.2 87 88.8 5 6.5 34 32.5 4 5.8 36 34.2 2 4.5 25 22.5 4 3.9 23 23.1

19

Actual Expected Actual Expected

Note. Non-significant chi-squares for all three contexts Table 6 Future Policy: Remain Part of the UK

Possibility of a United Ireland Impossible to Could Happily accept accept accept Education Own religion only Mixed religion Neighborhood Own religion only Mixed religion Workplace Own religion only Mixed religion Actual Expected Actual Expected Actual Expected Actual Expected 70 (>)
29.4

Actual Expected Actual Expected

95 (>)
51.1 96.9

245 (>)
223.2 423.8

115 (<)
180.8 343.2

53 (<)

402 (<)

409 (>)

142 (>)
129.6 531.4

55 (<)
108 443

80 (<)
120.6

519 (<) 60 (>)
58.9

496 (>) 18 (<)
49.5

44 (>)
13.5

107 (<)
137.5

597 (<)
598.1

534 (>)
502.5

Note. Values with a (>) sign indicate actual counts greater than the expected value. Values with a (<) sign indicate actual counts less than expected value.

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Table 7 Future Policy: Unite with the Republic of Ireland
Possibility of a United Ireland Impossible to accept Education Own Religion only Actual Mixed religion Neighborhood Own religion only Actual Mixed religion Expected Actual Workplace Own religion only Mixed religion Expected Actual Expected Actual Expected 11 (>)
2.8

Could accept

Happily accept

17 (>)
5.7

69 (>)
61.2

129 (<)
148.1

Expected Actual Expected

0 (<)
11.3

115 (<)
122.8

316 (>)
296.9

35 (>)
30.7

63 (<)
75.6

6 (<)
14.2

154 (<)
158.3

403 (>)
390.4

9 (>)
1

15 (>)
11.5

17 (<)
28.5

8 (<)
16

173 (<)
176.5

448 (>)
436.5

Note. Values with a (>) sign indicate actual counts greater than the expected value. Values with a (<) sign indicate actual counts less than expected value.

The Impact of

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References Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley. Brewer, M. B. (2001). Ingroup identification and intergroup conflict: When does ingroup love become outgroup hate? In Ashmore, R.D., Jussim, L., & Wilder, D. (Eds.), Social identity, intergroup conflict, and conflict reduction (pp. 17-41). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Cairns, E., & Darby, J. (1998). The conflict in Northern Ireland: Causes, consequences and controls. American Psychologist, 53(7), 754-760. Cairns, E., Wilson, R., Gallagher, T., & Trew, K. (1995). Psychology’s contribution to understanding conflict in Northern Ireland. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 1(2), 131-148. Campbell, A., Cairns, E., & Mallet, J. (2004). Northern Ireland: The psychological impact of “the troubles.” Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment, & Trauma, 9(1-2), 175-184. Conflict Archive on the Internet (2005). Background Information on Northern Ireland Society- Population and Vital Statistics. Retrieved December 8, 2005, from http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/ni/popul.htm#1 Irwing, P., & Stringer, M. (2000). New measures of political attitudes in Northern Ireland: A social identity perspective. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 10, 139-154. Kirlpatrick, R., & Leitch, R. (2004). Teachers’ and pupils’ educational experiences and school-based responses to the conflict in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Issues, 60(3), 563-586. Maoz, I. (2003). Peace-building with the hawks: Attitude change of Jewish-Israeli hawks and doves following dialogue encounters with Palestinians. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 27, 701-714. McClenahan, C., Irwing, P., Stringer, M., Giles, M., & Wilson, R. (2003). Educational differences in self-perceptions of adolescents in Northern Ireland. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27(6), 513-518. McGlynn, C. (2004). Education for peace in integrated schools: A priority for Northern Ireland? Child Care in Practice, 10(2), 85-94. Muldoon, O. T. (2004). Children of the Troubles: The impact of political violence in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Issues, 60(30), 453-468. National Statistics, 2001. Living in Britain 2001. Retrieved December 1, 2005, from http://www.statistics.gov.uk/lib2001/Section3724.html National Statistics, 2004. Communities in Northern Ireland. Retrieved December 1, 2005 from http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=980 Niens, U., & Cairns, E. (2002). Identity management strategies in Northern Ireland. The Journal of Social Psychology, 142(3), 371-380. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2005). Census 2001 Output. Retrieved December 10, 2005, from http://www.nisranew.nistra.gov.uk/census/Census 2001Output/ UnivariateTables/uv_tables1.html#age%20and%20sex Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup contact. In M.A. Hogg & D. Abrams (Eds.), Intergroup Relations (pp. 94-109). Philadelphia, PA: Psychology Press. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In

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J. T. Jost & J. Sidanius (Eds.), Political Psychology: Key Readings (pp. 276-293). New York, NY: Psychology Press. UK Data Archive, 2005. SN 5227 -Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey, 2004. Retrieved December 3, 2005 from http://www.data-archive.ac.uk/findingData/snDescription.asp?sn=5227#doc

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