Papers from the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology Conferences

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The present study examines mutual perception and relational strategies of the Hindu and Muslim groups in the cultural context of India by focusing on religion-based “othering.” A sample of 264 participants belonging to Hindu and Muslim groups was studied in Varanasi City. An instrument developed and used in an international project was adapted and given to participants (age range 20–60 years) for measuring their relational strategies, mutual perceptions and perceived discriminations. The findings revealed the ‘Coexistence’ relational strategy to be strongly placed in both Muslim and Hindu participants. Both ‘Integration’ and ‘Assimilation’ strategies were stronger in Muslim participants than in Hindu participants. Hindus preferred the ‘Separation’ strategy, perceived greater discrimination and held less positive views of Muslims. The findings are discussed along with their implications for dealing with the problem of Hindu-Muslim relationships in India.

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