Get access

The Concept of Multiculturalism: A Study Among Dutch Majority Members


Saskia R. G. Schalk-Soekar, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Vocational Training & Centre for Quality and Care Research, 166 VOHA, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands. E-mail:


The current study examined the concept of multiculturalism as seen by 1,285 Dutch majority members, and tested its expected relation with acculturation and intergroup relations aspects. The concepts of multiculturalism and acculturation were unidimensional. Dutch majority members were slightly positive (almost neutral) toward multiculturalism, and saw both its advantages and disadvantages. They preferred immigrants to adapt as much as possible, and they perceived a norm that they should approve the immigrant's way of living. A path model showed that acculturation orientations and intergroup relations aspects (perceived social norms/social distance) predicted multicultural attitudes. Furthermore, multicultural attitudes predicted contact with and knowledge about immigrants. Finally, level of education and perceived opportunities in society were positively associated with multicultural attitudes.