A study of an interracial neighbourhood in the south of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mc Nally, Melissa Louise
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The study of contact and desegregation in post apartheid South Africa has not received adequate attention (Durrheim & Dixon, 2005b). Mondeor, a previously White populated suburb in the South of Johannesburg has been identified as being a racially diverse neighbourhood . By focusing on this suburb, the current study investigated whether or not residents interacted or mixed with members from other race groups and whether or not increased contact with members of different race groups in a residential neighbourhood would promote positive intergroup attitudes. Zones were identified for the purpose of this study whereby each Zone was predominantly comprised of a specific race group. Quantitative data was collected by means of distributing an intergroup attitude and contact questionnaire to the residents according to the zones in which they resided. A sample of N=197 respondents was obtained. The results indicated that there was generally no significant difference in contact for the Zones (racially exclusive zones and racially mixed zones), however, significant differences existed in levels of contact for the various race groups. In addition to this it was found that significant differences in contact existed for the various education levels of the respondents. As expected, a significant negative relationship (r = -0.16) was found to exist between contact and affective prejudice. In addition to these results, significant relationships were found to exist between affective prejudice and the following variables: Intergroup anxiety (r=0.37), and social distance (r=0.27). In conclusion, it was found that residents were not mixing as much as what was envisaged for a racially mixed neighbourhood. In addition to this, contact in and of itself was not found to be a predictive measure for affective prejudice. Thus, this finding lends support to Allport’s contact hypothesis making it clear that it is imperative to examine the nature of the contact as this may be pertinent in the promotion of the reduction of affective prejudice in intergroup contact situations.
Intergroup relations, Desegregation, Segregation, Contact hypothesis, Social identity, Residential integration, Mixed areas, Intergroup anxiety, Affective prejudice