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Abstract

This study examined relationships between ethnic identification and ethnic minority members' interactions with majority group members. Members of Muslim minority groups, ethnic Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands and Chechens in Poland, described the social interactions they had for two weeks using a variant of the Rochester Interaction Record (RIR). They also completed measures of ethnocultural identification that distinguished involvement with and attachment to their ethnic minority culture and to the majority culture. Relationships between ethnic identification and contact with the majority group varied as a function of the dimension and source of identification and the aspect of interaction (quantity or quality) being considered. Across the samples, involvement with the ethnic minority culture was negatively related to the quantity of contact with majority group members, whereas emotional attachment to the majority culture was positively related to the quality of interactions with majority group members. Attachment to the ethnic minority culture was not related to either the quantity of interaction with majority group members or to the quality of these interactions. These results suggest that when studying interethnic contact, it is important to distinguish different dimensions and sources of ethnic identification and different aspects of interethnic contact. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.