Aarhus University Seal

Closing the Solidarity Gap? How Ethnic Diversity Alters Who We Are Willing to Support

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Citizens tend to be more solidary with ethnic ingroup members than ethnic outgroup members. As a result, increasing ethnic diversity is often found to impede solidarity. Although this perspective is well established, I present an alternative argument: Under circumstances that foster intergroup contact, increasing diversity promotes, rather than impedes, intergroup solidarity. To test this argument, I combine a survey experiment fielded among Danish students with quasi-random observational data on students' classroom ethnic composition. I find that ethnic-majority adolescents are on average more willing to support ethnic-majority recipients than immigrant and ethnic-minority recipients. Yet, although increasing diversity does not moderate the majority-minority solidarity gap, increasing diversity diminishes and erases the majority-immigrant solidarity gap. As further shown, one explanation is that immigrants in particular face strong stereotypes of being lazy and that ethnic diversity reduces this specific stereotype. These findings suggest that immigration and solidarity need not be incompatible. Under certain circumstances, ethnic diversity at worst leaves intergroup solidarity unaltered and at best improves such solidarity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Psychology
Pages (from-to)531-549
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

    Research areas

  • deservingness, ethnic diversity, intergroup contact, school, solidarity

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 339536087