CE28 - Cognition, éducation, formation

Affirmation procedures, social integration norms and attitudes towards immigrants among adolescents – AFFIRMATIF

Submission summary

In this research program, we use a multidisciplinary approach (social psychology and sociology of education) to examine both socio-cultural factors and the psychological mechanisms of prejudice in adolescents. More specifically, we examine how norms of social integration shape immigrant prejudice among adolescents. Integration norms describe and prescribe the ways in which immigrants and other minority groups are allowed to express markers of their culture (e.g., religion) in the host society. These integration norms may be more or less favourable to immigration and may promote or curb prejudice against immigrants. Integration standards refer to the majority opinion on the integration of immigrants (e.g. "Most French people think that immigrants should renounce their customs and traditions"). Adolescents may or may not be aware of these social integration norms and they may personally agree or disagree with them. Are integration norms related to prejudice against immigrants among adolescents?

If at the collective level, European and national integration policies create normative contexts favorable or unfavorable to immigrants, at the individual level, the psychological mechanisms of prejudice can be modulated by specific intervention strategies defined in social psychology. In particular, interventions based on self-affirmation theory target the perceived threat of immigration and defensive reactions in terms of prejudice. Indeed, immigrants can be perceived by adolescents as a cultural or economic threat and this negative feeling can lead to negative intergroup attitudes. According to self-affirmation theory, if individuals can focus on their personal / collective resources, values and important achievements, the feeling of threat can be diminished and prejudice can be reduced. However, self-affirmation techniques can decrease or increase the salience of social identity and thus influence the link between norms and prejudice.

In this research program we have the following objectives: (a) to study how immigrant integration norms are associated with prejudice among adolescents through a survey on a representative sample (b) to examine how self-affirmation and group-affirmation moderate the impact of integration norms on prejudice towards immigrants, and (c) to test a social intervention based on affirmation procedures, in high schools. Three research laboratories are involved: (1) LAPPS (Laboratoire Parisien de Psychologie Sociale), University of Paris Nanterre, whose mission is to carry out this program, coordinate the studies and disseminate the results; (2) URMIS (Unité de recherche " Migrations et Sociétés "), University of Nice, which is responsible for carrying out the field survey and liaising with professionals from the National Education; (3) LAPSCO (Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et Cognitive), University of Clermont-Auvergne, which leads the experimental studies and, in collaboration with the LAPPS, implements the intervention in the field.

The collaboration with the Institut National Supérieur du Professorat et de l'Education, Académie de Nice, is an important asset for our project. The restitution of the results to the teaching teams and within the framework of the academic training program as continuing education is an important phase of the project aimed at responding to the demand for scientific disclosure of ANR programs.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


University of California / Sherman lab
Université Côte d'Azur - URMIS

Help of the ANR 187,181 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2021 - 36 Months

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