Fields of activities:
|» Political science |
|» Sociology |
» Education (incl. training, pedagogy, didactics)
Brief description of your activity focus
Psychology of national, ethnic, racial and religious identifications and cultural practices, intercultural competences and active citizenship
Details about Expertise / Competences / Technologies
I am a developmental and social psychologist but I have a strong commitment to multidisciplinary research and I am currently working with political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, policy analysts and educationalists. My primary research interests are focused on the psychology of national, ethnic, racial and religious identifications and cultural practices, intercultural competences and active citizenship. I am especially interested in: national and ethnic identifications, attitudes and practices; national, ethnic and racial stereotyping and prejudice; influences on national and ethnic enculturation; acculturation processes; the development of intercultural competences; and political cognition, attitudes and active citizenship.
I am particularly interested in the use of comparative cross-national studies to examine variability in national, ethnic and religious identifications, attitudes and practices as a function of the specific national and state contexts in which individuals live. I have previously coordinated two cross-national projects funded by the European Commission (under FP3) and by INTAS which investigated the development of national and ethnic identifications, beliefs and attitudes in 6- to 15-year-old children living in England, Scotland, Catalonia, the Basque Country, Spain, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan. These were the CHOONGE and NERID projects. The principal findings from these projects are reported in the following book. This book also provides a comprehensive review of the existing research which has been conducted into children’s understanding of, and attitudes to, nations, states and national groups by psychologists, educationalists, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers and political scientists:
Barrett, M. (2007). Children’s Knowledge, Beliefs and Feelings about Nations and National Groups. Hove: Psychology Press.
I am currently coordinating another cross-national research project funded by the European Commission under FP7, entitled “Processes influencing Democratic Ownership and Participation (PIDOP)” (2009-2012). This project is examining the processes which influence democratic ownership and participation in nine countries (Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Italy, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey). The project is drawing on the disciplines of Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Politics, Social Policy and Education in order to examine the macro-level contextual factors (including historical, political, electoral, economic and policy factors), the proximal social factors (including familial, educational and media factors) and the psychological factors (including motivational, cognitive, attitudinal and identity factors) which facilitate and/or inhibit civic and political engagement and participation. The research is focusing on young people, women, minorities and migrants as four specific groups at risk of political disengagement.
I have recently completed two other research projects. One of these was a multidisciplinary project funded by the Leverhulme Trust on ‘New Ethnicities in British Bangladeshi and Mixed-Heritage Youth’. This project examined patterns of national and ethnic self-categorization and identification among British Bangladeshi and mixed-heritage adolescents living in London, the cultural practices of these individuals within different situations and contexts, and their perceptions of multiculturalism, racism and discrimination.
The other project in which I have recently been involved is a Council of Europe project in which a new educational instrument called the Autobiography of Intercultural Encounters (AIE) has been developed for use within primary and secondary schools. The AIE is intended to support and encourage the development of the cognitive, affective and behavioural skills which are required for engaging in effective dialogue with people from other cultural backgrounds. The AIE was piloted in sixteen countries in 2007-8, and was published by the Council of Europe in March 2009. There are two versions of the AIE, a version for younger learners (intended for use with children up to the age of about 11 years) and the standard version (intended for use by secondary school pupils and adults). The AIE and all of its supporting documents are published in pdf format and can be downloaded and used freely from the AIE website. The AIE project group is currently in the process of developing a second educational instrument, the Autobiography of Mediated Intercultural Encounters (AMIE), which will support the development of the cognitive, affective and behavioural skills required for interpreting and deconstructing representations of ‘cultural others’ that appear in the mass media.