[EN] Video Transcript
In this unit, we and our experts take a look at what effect those cross-cultural encounters have on the respondents’ views of the other.
The Survey findings showed that the method and place of interaction seemed to have an impact on responses. The question was put forth with a view towards the previous 12 months. We find that in European countries, where a larger share of interactions happened in public spaces, 55% of respondents stated that their encounters with southern and eastern Mediterraneans had no impact on their view about them; while 29% responded with a positive view change. Inversely, 33% of southern and eastern Mediterraneans reported no view change, and 48% positive change.
Looking at our experts’ comments on these results, we see that Femke De Keulenaer notes those respondents reporting positive cross-cultural interactions were at the same time reporting tolerance towards people from different cultural backgrounds.
Looking at the results at the country level, Ayman Zohry observes that Tunisia and Palestine come out on top of the list of countries reporting that meeting Europeans has positively changed their views. Countries with the lowest proportions are Poland and France, at 23% and 22%, respectively.
Nabil Fahmy and Emilia Valsta offer some evidence supporting the claim that increasing meaningful interaction is the right way forward. They equate this in a context of increasing mobility and immigration from southern and eastern Mediterranean countries; they urge caution, however, when it comes to cross-cultural exposure due to the high potential for misunderstanding in subjects such as women’s role in society, or the perception of diversity and social stability.
Discussing the Survey results, Ricard Zapata-Barrero draws correlations between diversity appreciation, cross-cultural interactions increasing positive view changes about the other, and diversity as a source of prosperity for society, through education, tourism and business.
Nayla Tabbara looks at the data analysed by Zapata-Barrero from another perspective, showing us that European and southern and eastern Mediterranean respondents disagreed, at rates of 27% and 24%, respectively, with the concept of diversity as a source of prosperity, seeing others as a threat to their economy. She discusses various reasons for this, with one being linked to the refugee crisis.