DUALNETS – Dual identifiers as bridges in social networks


DUALNETS is a 5-year research project (2022-2027) funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr. Tobias Stark at Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

This project will test a new theory: that interethnic prejudice can be reduced by minority members who identify with both their ethnic group and the national majority group, because these dual identifiers can create social bridges between communities. However, not all dual identifiers are recognized as such by others, and misperception may undermine the bridging that dual identifiers can accomplish. The expectation is that dual identifiers’ relationships with members of both groups are signals of their dual belonging, but that the degree to which these signals are picked up depends on people’s perception of the structure of their social networks. Moreover, recognizing dual identifiers might reduce prejudice but, again, this depends on people’s perceptions of dual identifiers’ positions in a network. To test these expectations, this project will develop a new method to measure perceptions of people’s ethnicity and their relationships in social networks. A combination of methodological approaches from qualitative in-depth interviews and GPS tracking to novel statistical social network models will be employed to analyze people’s perceptions of their social networks.

Tobias Stark is an Associate Professor at the Department of Interdisciplinary Social Science and the European Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER) at Utrecht University.