Promoting Inter-Ethnic Understanding and Empathy Using a Round Table Cinema Activity with Malaysian Malay and Chinese Students

Viren Swami, Hanoor Syahirah Zahari, Nor Azzatunnisak Mohd Khatib, Evelyn Kheng Lin Toh, David Barron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Round Table Cinema Activity (RTCA) is an intervention designed to promote improved multicultural understanding by having different social identity groups watch a carefully-selected film and take part in repeated dialogic exchanges. Here, we examined the efficacy of the RTCA paradigm at improving inter-ethnic understanding and empathy among members of different social identity groups from the same country (i.e., Malaysian Malays and Chinese). A total of 87 participants completed a measure of ethnocultural empathy before and after the RTCA paradigm, which involved watching the film Sepet, taking part in group discussions, and answering open-ended question about their experiences. Analyses of written responses suggested that the RTCA was successful at promoting intergroup dialogue and exchange of ideas. Analyses of quantitative data suggested significant and large improvements in ethnocultural empathy at post-intervention. Our findings suggest that the RTCA paradigm may be a useful tool for promoting inter-ethnic harmony in the Malaysian context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-437
Number of pages22
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Volume54
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • China
  • Empathy
  • Ethnicity
  • Humans
  • Malaysia
  • Motion Pictures
  • Students

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