Luca Varadi, visiting professor at CEU’s Nationalism Studies Program, has been awarded a Marie Sklodowska-Curie individual fellowship at CEU’s Nationalism Studies Program for her project entitled Dynamics of Development: Understanding Adolescents' Intergroup Attitudes, National Feelings, and Perception of Social Norms. The two-year project started on June 1 2016, and is supervised by Andras Kovacs, professor in the Nationalism Studies Program and Department of History at CEU. Varadi is conducting a longitudinal study mapping the development of shared social norms in school classes and their effect on the formation of intergroup attitudes. She will survey 60 school classes of approximately 1500 Hungarian teenagers, starting secondary school next September. The project aims to understand the interplay between group norms and prejudice and also to study how teenagers perceive their social environments and themselves inside it.
Through its interdisciplinary perspective, Varadi’s research will contribute to a fuller understanding of the processes leading to prejudices building on notions from sociology, social psychology and nationalism studies. Besides their scientific value, results of the study will be used to design school-based interventions fostering tolerance towards members of minority groups. In the framework of the fellowship, CEU will host a workshop for international experts focusing on social norms and the development of prejudice. The teachers and principals of the participating Hungarian secondary schools will be invited to CEU for another workshop to discuss the results of the study and ways of applying its findings to reduce prejudice and promote acceptance of minorities.