Mutual Attitudes, Stereotypes and Prejudices Towards the Neighboring Country and Perceptions of the Polish-German Border

  • Marius MayerEmail author
  • Wojciech Zbaraszewski
  • Dariusz Pieńkowski
  • Gabriel Gach
  • Johanna Gernert
Part of the Geographies of Tourism and Global Change book series (GTGC)


This chapter begins the presentation of the results of the representative online survey by addressing respondents’ sociodemographic characteristics, with a first focus on the differences between the Polish and German samples. The main content revolves around the mutual attitudes, stereotypes and prejudices towards the neighboring country as expressed on the survey. After discussing mutual interests, sympathy, knowledge and fascination, discussion centers on the unaided associations of Poles and Germans with their respective neighboring country/people, followed by more standardized image perceptions and attitudes towards those neighbors. Finally, we explore the level of prejudices and stereotypes that we sought to measure under avoidance of too much social desirability. Our results reveal that, while Poles and Germans in the border region do not know very much about each other, in general they think rather positively about one another. Nevertheless, we confirm the existence of persistent (negative) stereotypes and prejudices and underline the validity of the contact hypothesis, which posits that respondents who have visited the neighboring country show more positive attitudes and fewer negative prejudices. Finally, we present respondents’ perceptions of the Polish-German border itself that, it turns out, is not generally seen as a barrier but perceived as quite natural and non-disturbing.

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marius Mayer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wojciech Zbaraszewski
    • 2
  • Dariusz Pieńkowski
    • 3
  • Gabriel Gach
    • 4
  • Johanna Gernert
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geography and GeologyUniversität GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  2. 2.Department of System Analysis and FinanceWest Pomeranian University of TechnologySzczecinPoland
  3. 3.University of Life Sciences in PoznańPoznańPoland
  4. 4.LVR-Kulturzentrum Abtei BrauweilerLandschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR)PulheimGermany

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