An Analysis of the Efficacy of Positive Intergroup Contact Among the Sri Lankan Diaspora




Wanasinghe-Pasqual, Maneesha S.

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This research challenged the assumption that intergroup interaction does not exist among Sri Lankan diaspora, who are often presented as archetypes of conflict-driven divided diaspora. If further questions the effectiveness of such positive contact in creating catalysts for peace. The research utilized the snowball sampling technique to uncover Sri Lankan diaspora participants residing in the United Kingdom who interacted with members of the ‘enemy’ (out-)group. The research used Network analysis to gain insights into whether these diaspora interact informally with diaspora who held similar and different ideas. Narrative analysis and Positioning theory assisted in understanding whether these diaspora interactions remained positive, resulting in a reduction in prejudice and a questioning of the enemy image. The concept of ‘Turning Points’ also aided in this endeavor. The research illuminated the fact that diaspora from divided groups perceived only those close acquaintances from the out-group as friends. Despite the tenants of Contact Hypothesis, the data illustrated that these same diaspora retained intergroup bias and prejudices regarding the out-group. These research findings provide crucial insights into the understanding of the Sri Lankan conflict, diaspora studies, and the relevancy of Contact hypothesis in reducing prejudice among divided group. It further speculates on the efficacy of contact in ensuring catalysts for building peace. In exploring the nature of intergroup interaction among members of divided groups, the research concluded that rather than replacing one with the other prejudice and acceptance existed in tandem.



Diaspora, Positioning Theory, Contact Hypothesis, Narrative analysis, Sri Lanka, Snowball Technique