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M&E Thursday Talk – The Mo Salah Effect: Can Exposure to Celebrities Reduce Prejudice?

This is the M&E Thursday Talk from Thursday, June 27th when  Ala’ Alrababa’h of the Immigration Policy Lab (IPL), led a discussion on “The Mo Salah Effect: Can Exposure to Celebrities Reduce Prejudice?”

Can exposure to successful celebrities from stigmatized groups reduce prejudice towards them? Ala’ Alrababa’h, and fellow IPL colleagues, explored this question in their recently published study of the phenomenal rise of Liverpool star Mohamed Salah. Using hate crime observations, social media, and various experimental tools, they causally estimated the effect of Salah joining Liverpool on Islamophobic attitudes and behaviors of their fans. Ala’ elaborated on their methods and findings, which revealed that Merseyside County (home to Liverpool) experienced a reduction in hate crimes and anti-Muslim tweets among fans. Participants were asked to explore this question, and how positive exposure to outgroup role models can change behaviors and attitudes.

1 comment on “M&E Thursday Talk – The Mo Salah Effect: Can Exposure to Celebrities Reduce Prejudice?”

This is an inspiring study both for its rigorous methodology and intention to more deeply understand how the “soft power” of ethnically diverse sports champions and other celebrities of non-white and/or non-Christian religious groups might reduce prejudice. If only governments would invest more in program design/monitoring/evaluation of partnership projects with football clubs, the Olympics, theater companies, or any celebrity-generating productions! With more evidence-building through studies like this one, we would have much more evidence for mediating ethnic and religious conflict and reducing the biases that cause physical and online hate crimes. Great webinar!

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