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Durham University

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Nielsen, I., Gu, J., Shachat, J., Smyth, R. & Peng, Y. (2016). An experimental study of the effect of intergroup contact on attitudes in urban China. Urban Studies 53(14): 2991-3006.

Author(s) from Durham


A large body of literature attests to the growing social divide between urban residents and rural–urban migrants in China’s cities. This study uses a randomised experiment to test the effect of intergroup contact on attitudes between a group of urban adolescents and a group of rural–urban migrant adolescents. Results showed that intergroup contact in the form of a fun and cooperative puzzle task significantly reduced negative attitudes toward the other group. Implications for desegregated schooling and their broader societal implications in China are discussed.