Keywords: minority group, ethnic hierarchy, group status, threat perception
In the last twenty years the Italian Society has become more heterogeneous and this social change is new for a context where the multicultural reality is recent. In other countries a lot of studies have been carried out in order to understand the factors that influence the relationship between the native population and the minority groups. These studies have shown that the migrants are not perceived in the same way in a specific country and that there is a wide social agreement about the hierarchic position of each ethno-cultural minority group in a scale called "Ethnic Hierarchy" (Hagendoorn, Drogendijk, Tumanov and Hraba, 1998). A structured questionnaire were administered to 528 Italian adult participants who were living in Emilia-Romagna and Lombardia. The first results showed that Italians express a hierarchic preference with respect to the contact with different minority groups.