BIGSSS, Constructor University
South Hall, Room: SH-311
Regular Ph.D. Fellow, Cohort 2023
The Openness to Diversity of Adolescents in Italy
European societies are becoming increasingly diverse because of globalization, increased human mobility and transformations at the social and cultural level. Compared to other countries, Italy has been witnessing an increased diversity in its society only in recent decades, as a result of both immigration and profound societal changes. These changes had a polarizing effect on the public opinion and led to the consolidation of right-wing populist parties and to the election in 2022 of the first and most right-wing government since World War II. The parties of the government coalition reached power using Eurosceptic, nationalist, anti-immigration, and socially conservative propaganda, which contributed to the increasing normalization of hate speech, discrimination, and intolerance. However, in an increasingly diverse world, being aware, open, and appreciative towards diversity appears to be essential for both individuals and societies. The ability to be open minded towards different perspectives, beliefs, and customs and to look at diversity as an occasion for learning, reflection, and growth is paramount for the new generations, who are growing up in “super diverse societies”. This research project explores the openness to diversity of adolescents living in Italy, and investigates the influence played by individual and contextual factors on their level of openness to diversity. The study investigates the relationship between their approach to diversity and cognitive and moral development, alongside personality traits, empathy, and various sociodemographic indicators in order to find the most significant predictor. In addition, it will explore the role played by the socioeconomic and cultural context on openness to diversity, by comparing adolescents living in the North and in the South of Italy.