Strong Opposition Against Multi-culturalism: National Stereotypes and Prejudices of High School Greek Students

Dr Christos Govaris,
Prof. Yota Xanthakou,
Prof. Maria Kaila
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The cultural heterogeneity of students population in greek schools renders the cross-cultural learning a fundamental pedagogical objective. The procedures concerning both, the development of cross-cultural communication skills as well as attitudes of acceptance and recognition of the “different”, is not an easy matter, since they are influenced by a number of inter-dependent social and individual factors. In recent years, strong opposition against multi-culturalism is observed in greek population. According to the last report of European Observant against Xenophobia and Racism (EUMC, 2005) the national stereotypes and prejudices of adult population – although they have been diminished in recent years- are, comparatively, more well-spread in Greece than in the rest of the EU countries.

In this frame, the research concerning the attitudes and concepts of greek students towards immigration, as well as their social co-existence, is of the outmost importance in greek multicultural society.

The research presented in this paper was focused on the following questions :

• Which model of social co-existence -assimilation, integration, marginalisation - are students in favour of ?

• Are the attitudes of greek students towards their immigrant school-mates based on stereotypes and prejudices?

• How do greek students perceive a “just” society?

The sample of the research was composed of 856 high-school students, both male and female, from all over the country. The most important findings of the research are:

• The majority of students are in favour of cultural assimilation of the immigrants but, at the same time, they are against their social integration

• A great number of students do not wish to have intimate social and cultural relationship with immigrants

• Prejudices are more well-spread among male students

• Prejudicces are mainly addressed to adult immigrants rather than their immigrant school-mates.

The conclusion derived from the findings of this research is that cross-cultural education programmes in Greece ought to confront critically the dominant, inflexible way of presenting of “different cultures”, as well as focus on the planning and implementation of suitable pedagogical strategies in order to lessen the impact of these stereotypes and prejudices on native students.

Finally, it is, also, of great importance to limit the influence of stereotypical way of presenting the “different” in school books.

Keywords: National Stereotypes, National Prejudicie, Greek Students
Stream: Immigration, Refugees, Race, Nation
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Dr Christos Govaris

Lecturer in multicultural education, Departement of pre-School Education and Educational Design, University of the Aegean
Rhodes, Greece

Lecturer in multicultural education. Interests in cultural diversity and social education

Prof. Yota Xanthakou

Assistant Professor, Departement of Pre-School Education and Educational Design, University of the Aegean
Rhodes, Greece

Yota Xanthakou is Assistant Professor at the University of the Aegean. She is an expert in Creative Learning and Teaching, in the analysis of children's drawing and also in issues of School Refusal and School Failure. She is author of five books and several articles in Greek and international journals. Perhaps her most characteristic work is her monograrh The Creative Problem Solving, which is to be published in English. She is co-editor of the series "Creativity" with Professors Frank Monks and Maria Kaila.

Prof. Maria Kaila

Professor, Chair of the Greek Psychological Association (2003-2005), Departement of Pre-School Education and Educational Planing, University of the Aegean
Rhodes, Greece

Maria Kaila is Professor at the University of the Aegean and Vice Rector (1997-2003), Chair of the Greek Psychological Association (2003-2005)and sits on the Committees of several international networks (PRERUDE, INRUDA, BSUN). She is an expert in issues of Universities, University Research and Sustainable Develorment, Evaluation, and also in the field of School Refusal and School Failure.She is editor of the series "Text in Education" and "Creativity", with Professor Guy Berger and LecturerHelena Theodoropoulou (in the former series), as well as Professor Franz Monks and Assistant Professor Yota Xanthakou (in the latter series). She is the author of six books and she has published a number of articles and chapters in international journals and volumes.

Ref: H06P0372