Undermining Stereotypes of Linguistic Groups Through Mediated Intergroup Contact

Jake Harwood, László Vincze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The article investigates majority group viewing of minority language media, with a particular focus on examining (a) motivations for viewing, (b) associations between viewing and stereotypes, and (c) the moderating effects of local minority language vitality and direct interpersonal contact. Among Finnish-speaking Finns (the majority group), traditional motivations (e.g., diversion) as well as intergroup motivations (e.g., seeking contact with the outgroup culture) were found to statistically predict Swedish language television viewing, and Swedish language television viewing predicted more positive stereotypes of Swedish-speaking Finns (the minority group). This latter effect was moderated by vitality, such that it was stronger in areas of higher Swedish (outgroup) vitality: The authors had predicted that the effect would be stronger in areas of lower vitality. The results are discussed in terms of intergroup contact theory and the effects of local variation in group vitality on the potential for media to influence intergroup attitudes, including the role of perceived threat from a large local minority population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-175
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Finland
  • Swedish language
  • cultivation theory
  • ethnolinguistic vitality
  • intergroup contact theory
  • minority language media
  • uses and gratifications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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