Jim Sidanius, professor of psychology and political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, Shana Levin, assistant professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College, and Colette van Laar, professor of psychology and education at Leiden University, the Netherlands, will study the impact of the multicultural undergraduate experience on ethnic tolerance and on tensions between different racial and ethnic groups. A fundamental assumption of multicultural education is that increased intergroup contact, combined with increased knowledge of other groups' histories and cultures, will lead to more cooperative relations. But does a multicultural education really lead to an increase in ethnic tolerance? To test this assumption, Sidanius, Levin and van Laar have conducted a longitudinal panel study of a large segment of the UCLA entering class of 1996. While at the Foundation, the team will write a book on their overall findings. Levin and van Laar, drawing on data collected for the UCLA study, will also work together on individual projects that explore the causes and consequences of self-segregation, the effect of pre-college experiences on ethnic tolerance, and ethnic identity and unease as a predictor of academic performance.
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