Work Package no. 2 – Cross-national surveys Romania-Norway
WP 2 undertakes a comparative survey of citizens in Norway and Romania to examine whether particular narratives referencing anti-prejudice norms have different impact on different groups across Norway and Romania. This approach was employed for testing theoretical expectations about how characteristics of the national context – such as the weaker presence of anti-prejudice and democratic norms in public discourse in Romania; the greater credibility of ostensibly non-partisan public institutions (e.g., public broadcast media) in Norway; or the differential levels of citizen attachment to racial prejudice, political parties, and democratic values in the two countries – make likely that different kinds of narrative frames and different kinds of actors’ use of these frames have the greatest impact in reducing anti-democratic intolerant talk among citizens in the two countries.
- Develop questionnaire batteries that allow valid comparative measurement of anti-democratic intolerant discourse (ADID) reduction through narratives referencing anti-prejudice norms across Norway and Romania;
- Examine what narrative frames and actors are most likely to (substantially) reduce the expression of ADID towards various groups in Romania;
- Test theoretical expectations about changes in citizens’ expression of ADID towards various groups in surveys in the presence of various references to anti-prejudice and democratic norms based on different narrative frames and attributions to different actors;
- Examine how cross-national differences in the potential effectiveness of various narrative frames and actors in reducing the expression of ADID towards various groups depend on (a) cross-national differences in attachment to political parties; (b) trust in ostensibly non-partisan public institutions like the churches; (c) attachment to democratic values and levels of prejudice in the public; as well as (d) the frequency of political appeals for broad-based social inclusion and fair treatment of minority groups among political elites in the two countries.
Intolerant and anti-democratic attitudes towards minorities in Romania (secondary data analysis)
- Using secondary data sources, our analysis revealed that anti-Roma sentiment appears to be rather resilient among the Romanian population, or at best dissipating at a very slow pace. Moreover, while most studies have shown that more educated people, as well as the youth tend to be more tolerant and acceptant in general, this may not be so true in the case of Romania when referring to the Roma population. This type of inelasticity is a very interesting phenomenon that certainly requires its own path of exploration through developing and employing more complex survey designs.
- Our findings regarding the overtime persistence of anti-Roma sentiments in Romania confirm those of a 2003 Institute for Public Policy study entitled: “Intolerance, Discrimination, Extremism in Romania”: while younger Romanians and those with higher formal education are, indeed, more tolerant towards the LGBT minority, the same may not hold true for attitudes towards the Roma and Hungarians. Compared to other European countries, Romania scores extremely low when it comes to displaying accepting attitudes towards LGBT groups.
Social and political intolerance of Romanian minorities
- Data from our two LHMS national surveys has been used to produce two academic papers, and as exploration continues we expect to deliver even more findings. The first paper looked at anti-democratic and intolerant views of Romanian citizens, focusing on the denial of fundamental rights to members of out-groups and the contribution of partisanship and media exposure. Our analyses showed that although in terms of levels of social and political intolerance there are some differences across target groups (with the Roma and LGBT groups being most likely to be discriminated against), the main determinants of intolerance remain largely common (authoritarianism, nationalism, distrust, low political knowledge, negative economic outlook) and firmly rooted in attitudes and awareness rather than information sources or socio-demographic attributes.
- Building trust in fellow citizens irrespectively of ascriptive traits, raising awareness of political facts – maybe including basic concepts of rights and equality, progress towards an economy that alleviates fears of the future most probably provide more workable paths towards a more tolerant society than countering particular stereotypes and group conflicts with information and policy.
Less Hate, More Speech – Youngsters Get Involved!
The project is run by Median Research Centre (MRC) in partnership with Educ Association and targets young people between 12 and 17 years old, in order to help them better identify and react to online and offline hate speech.
More, on the project’s website.