Eyes Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open
Majority Scots have less contact, friendship, and knowledge of the minorities than the minorities have of the majority. Minority perceptions of the majority are broadly accurate. In particular, they are aware that the majority doubts the loyalty of minorities (English and Muslim) to Scotland. The frequent exposure to ethnic jokes and intentional insults have a dramatic impact on minorities’ perceptions, even though the victims try hard to believe that their harassers are exceptional rather than typical. These personal experiences have significantly more impact on English immigrants’ perceptions of the majority’s Anglophobia than on Muslims’ perceptions of the majority’s Islamophobia. English immigrants suffered less harassment but coped worse and reacted more indignantly. Signals from the new Scottish Parliament to minorities were critically important in determining minorities’ perceptions of the majority. The Parliament’s inclusive, multicultural publicity campaigns may have greater impact on the minorities’ perceptions than on the majority’s actual prejudices.
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