Is cultural group representation a fair option? Adolescents' evaluations of forms of decision-making in multicultural Mauritius

Caroline Ng Tseung-Wong, Maykel Verkuyten

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Social psychological research on multiculturalism has mostly looked at recognition of differences and much less at equitable participation. The present study investigated adolescents' fairness judgements of three democratic decision-making procedures (representative democracy, equal group representation, and proportional group representation) and one nondemocratic procedure (cultural group oligarchy) among Hindu (N= 844), Muslim (N= 630) and Creole (N= 310) adolescents in Mauritius. We examined these judgements in two different contexts (i.e. school and national), and in relation to ethnic group identification, age and gender. Results show that representative democracy was viewed as the fairest decision-making procedure and cultural group oligarchy as the most unfair one. The group representation procedures were judged as relatively unfair although there were significant differences by ethnic group, age and gender. Strength of ethnic identification was linked to higher fairness ratings of democratic group representation procedures. The results are discussed in terms of morality, group positions and ideological representations of the Mauritian nation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-738
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Intercultural Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


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