Violence against Ethnic Minorities in Urban India: An Exploration from Socio-Psychological Perspectives

The dynamic of urbanization possess has created social conditions for many who migrate to megacities from different parts of the country. Many live under stressful life due to constant threat from ‘extreme others’; rooted primarily in the group identity and persisting prejudices. With the heterogonous character of social life, there has been an emerging social security concerns in the form of discrimination and prejudice attitudes against certain ethnic minorities. As a result, many do not have access to life spaces in the cities. The recent occurrences of discrimination and violence against people from north eastern part of the country in some cities and communal tension and disharmony in various parts of the country have brought the two vulnerable groups- people from North East states and African countries, into the discourse of public debate. The challenges of social security for them have increased both in scope and complexity. The key question is ‘how the vulnerable groups cope with such adverse social environment?’ The present research aims to explore the antecedents and consequents of increased violence against ethnic minorities in urban areas from sociopsychological perspectives. The study would explore perceived ‘social distance’ and discrimination among ethnic minorities from the ‘outgroup’ and ‘ingroup’ framework; and ascertain their acculturative stress and coping strategies.