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Universities to research integration of minority communities in Scotland

St Andrews University.
St Andrews University.

St Andrews and Dundee universities have been given funding to research how Muslims and Roma people have integrated into local communities.

The two are part of a consortium of institutes across Europe being awarded a €1 million grant by the Volkswagen Foundation.

It will explore the challenges of misrecognition, the experience of a person being treated as if they do not belong to a society they have grown up in and feel part of.

The research will chart the experience of minorities and their inclusion in, or their alienation from, the majority in society.

Dundee University’s contribution to the project will examine how members of the Muslim community in Scotland experience being under surveillance as they go about their everyday lives, and the impact this has on their sense of belonging to the country.

One of the co-leaders of the project, Professor Stephen Reicher of the School of Psychology and Neuroscience at St Andrews, said: “If we want to understand how minorities orient to authority and society, we must look at things through their eyes, and examine how many seemingly small things in their everyday lives, such as the sense of being under constant surveillance, add up to a big message as to whether they do or don’t belong in the community.”

Professor Nick Hopkins, from Dundee University, said: “We are tremendously proud to be part of this world class research team and to have been successful in obtaining this highly prestigious grant.”

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