Integrating Muslim immigrant minorities: The effects of narrative and statistical messages

Magdalena Wojcieszak, Rachid Azrout, Hajo Boomgaarden, Amanda Paz Alencar, & Penelope Sheets
Date of Publication: 
December, 2015
Source Organization: 

Many immigrants utilize television and film as a way to immerse themselves in the language, values, and culture of the country to which they have moved. At times, the values and beliefs of immigrants may clash with those of their new country.

A study in the Netherlands tested if media narratives or statistical data would be effective in integrating Muslim immigrants with differing values and beliefs than the majority of Dutch residents. Study participants were given either a vignette with a personal story or statistical data on a culturally controversial topic (e.g. gender equality, sexual minority rights). The participants were then asked to rate their attitude on the topic. The results show the narrative condition changed participants view on the controversial topic greater than the statistical condition. Therefore, story-based messages and media (e.g. film, literature) are effective ways social workers and immigrant resource organizations can integrate immigrants into their new and possibly divergent culture. (Immigrant Integration Lab)

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Wojcieszak, M., Azrout, R., Boomgaarden, H., Alencar, A. P., & Sheets, P. (2017). Integrating Muslim Immigrant Minorities: The Effects of Narrative and Statistical Messages. Communication Research, 44(4), 582–607.