Perceptions, Prevalence and Consequences of Everyday Discrimination

Research question/goal: 

Over the past few decades, Germany has undergone a transformation from a largely ethnically homogenous population to an increasingly diverse destination for immigrants from around the world. As many new immigrants come from religiously and culturally different societies, how can immigrants successfully integrate into German society? One main barrier to integration is discrimination. While the negative physical and mental health effects of discrimination in the labour or housing markets have been well documented, even much subtler forms of discrimination can lead to negative health outcomes and lower life satisfaction among immigrants and ethnic minorities. Using survey and field experimental data, this study aims to investigate the impact of everyday discrimination or subtle, unintentional differences in the behaviour of members of a native majority in their interactions with members of minority groups. Everyday discrimination has perhaps become the most common form of discrimination due to shifting societal norms that discourage more overt differential treatment. Thus, understanding everyday discrimination is key to understanding immigrants’ and ethnic minorities’ experiences in contemporary Germany and may also help explain disparities in well-being and integration outcomes.

Current stage: 

We were not successful in attracting a Freigeist Fellowship from the Volkswagen Foundation. The project proposal has therefore been integrated in an application for the NORFACE / CHANCE call for proposals ‘Enhancing well-being for the future’. Together with collaborators from France, the UK, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, we submitted a short proposal titled  ‘Confronting Everyday Discrimination: Perspective-Taking for Enhancing Wellbeing in a Diverse Europe’ in September 2023. The project explores how we can foster harmonious coexistence in diverse European societies to enhance individual and community wellbeing for the future. The project is structured in two distinct but interrelated parts:
1. What is the (causal) effect of everyday discrimination on individual wellbeing?
2. How does the adoption of the minority perspective by the majority affect community wellbeing?

Fact sheet

2020 to 2026
in preparation
Data Sources: 
original data (survey and field experimental data)
Geographic Space: