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Identification and ethnic diversity underlie support for multicultural rights : a multilevel analysis in Bulgaria
International Journal of Intercultural Relations
Bulgaria is historically a multicultural society, composed of the Bulgarian (ethnic) majority and a number of ethnic minorities among which Bulgarian Turks and Roma are the largest. Both minority communities are stigmatized in contemporary Bulgaria, though to different degrees and for different reasons. Ethnic minorities' rights to preserve their culture, customs, and language are a topic of contentious debate. The purpose of this study was to examine individual- and context-level antecedents of the ethnic Bulgarian majority's support for multicultural rights of ethnic minorities. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted with International Social Survey Programme ISSP 2003 data (N = 920 in 28 Bulgarian districts). At the individual-level, an ethnic conception of the nation and anti-Roma symbolic prejudice were negatively related to support for multicultural rights, whereas national identification was positively related to the support of these rights. Over and above individual-level effects, and in line with recent extensions of intergroup contact theory, thepercentage ofBulgarianTurks withindistricts was positively related to support for multicultural rights. Importantly, support for multicultural rights was particularly high in districts characterized by ethnic diversity, that is, in districts with high proportions of both Bulgarian Turks and Roma. The beneficial effects of ethnic diversity and theoretical implications of findings are discussed.
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