Bram Lancee

Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam


From one closed door to another: Cumulative discrimination and prejudice against marginalized groups in Europe (EQUALSTRENGTH; 2023-2026)

EQUALSTRENGTH is a consortium of ten international partners (Utrecht University, University College Dublin, University of Oxford, University of Amsterdam, The German Center for Integration and Migration Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, The Budapest Institute, Charles University, The Spanish National Research Council and University of Lausanne), funded through a Horizon Europe grant. The consortium brings together scholars from a broad range of social sciences (e.g., social psychology, sociology, demography, economics, social policy).

The main contribution of EQUALSTRENGTH is to investigate cumulative and structural forms of discrimination, outgroup prejudice and hate crimes against ethnic, racial and religious minorities from a cross-setting and intersectional perspective. This approach is necessary to capture the simultaneous exposure to multiple forms of discrimination that is often experienced by victims.

We rely on field experiments, population-level secondary survey data, meso-level policy analysis and targeted data collection to include the perspectives of both gatekeepers and the minority groups who directly face and confront discrimination. Our approach allows us to meet five interrelated research objectives: First, we reveal structural and cumulative forms of ethnic and racial discrimination in nine European countries, focusing on the experiences of Muslim, Roma and Black minorities. Second, we assess the systemic nature of prejudice across life domains, targeting anti-Muslim, anti-Black and anti-Roma attitudes. Third, we analyze policy and institutional factors that contribute to structural discrimination and prejudices. Fourth, we document the lived experiences and coping strategies adopted to confront everyday discrimination. And finally, we highlight the intersection of race, ethnicity and religion with other dimensions of inequality such as gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic position. In meeting these objectives, we promise three key contributions: First, we shift the paradigm, moving from a focus on individuals at risk to a family-oriented perspective. Second, we reveal cumulative, structural and intersectional disadvantage, pushing beyond setting-specific and single-group analyses of discrimination. Third, we simultaneously consider multiple actors (i.e. gatekeepers; ethnic, racial and religious minorities; majority groups) and levels of analysis (i.e. the micro-level of individual decisions; the meso-level of organizations, neighborhoods, rental agencies and childcare facilities; the macro-level of countries and nation-wide institutions).

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