For decades, researchers and practitioners have sought to understand how contact between groups can reduce prejudice and promote more positive intergroup relations. Numerous studies have revealed the positive effects of contact in many different parts of the world, including contact between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, between racial groups in South Africa, and between immigrants and natives in Europe and South America.

Early efforts emphasized the role of ignorance in perpetuating prejudice, and the need to provide opportunities for members of different groups to interact in order to enhance mutual knowledge and, in turn, to reduce their prejudices toward one another. It is granted that ignorance often plays an important role in intergroup relations. Yet a half-century of research and theorizing has identified many other ...

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