What it means to be a national: A study among adolescents in multicultural Mauritius

Caroline Ng Tseung-Wong, Femke van der Werf, Maykel Verkuyten, Borja Martinovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: We investigated adolescents’ understandings of national group membership in multicultural Mauritius. We hypothesized that tolerance toward different cultures would be an important criterion for being Mauritian. In addition, national identity was expected to be defined in terms of “being,” “feeling,” and “doing.” The type of definition, and whether stopping being Mauritian is perceived as possible, was expected to depend on age and national identification. Possible differences by cultural group membership were explored. Method: The sample consisted of 2,190 adolescents of predominantly the three main cultural groups in Mauritius (Hindus, Muslims, and Creoles; Mage = 14.8 years, SDage = 1.7; 53% girls, 47% boys). Multiple correspondence and regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses. Results: The most important criterion mentioned for being Mauritian was respecting cultural diversity. Further, the criteria for national belonging could be clustered into being, feeling, and doing Mauritian. Older adolescents and higher national identifiers defined national belonging more in terms of feeling and less in terms of being than younger adolescents and lower national identifiers. In addition, they considered national identity to be less changeable. There were no clear differences between the three cultural groups. Conclusions: This study reveals the central importance of mutual respect and tolerance as the defining criterion for being Mauritian. Moreover, the feeling, being, and doing clusters of criteria provide a theoretically interesting distinction for understanding national belonging. It is recommended to test their possible correlates further and to use adult samples as well.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Mauritius
Emotions
adolescent
group membership
national identity
tolerance
Cultural Diversity
Islam
cultural diversity
Regression Analysis
respect
Muslim
Group
regression

Cite this

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title = "What it means to be a national: A study among adolescents in multicultural Mauritius",
abstract = "Objectives: We investigated adolescents’ understandings of national group membership in multicultural Mauritius. We hypothesized that tolerance toward different cultures would be an important criterion for being Mauritian. In addition, national identity was expected to be defined in terms of “being,” “feeling,” and “doing.” The type of definition, and whether stopping being Mauritian is perceived as possible, was expected to depend on age and national identification. Possible differences by cultural group membership were explored. Method: The sample consisted of 2,190 adolescents of predominantly the three main cultural groups in Mauritius (Hindus, Muslims, and Creoles; Mage = 14.8 years, SDage = 1.7; 53{\%} girls, 47{\%} boys). Multiple correspondence and regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses. Results: The most important criterion mentioned for being Mauritian was respecting cultural diversity. Further, the criteria for national belonging could be clustered into being, feeling, and doing Mauritian. Older adolescents and higher national identifiers defined national belonging more in terms of feeling and less in terms of being than younger adolescents and lower national identifiers. In addition, they considered national identity to be less changeable. There were no clear differences between the three cultural groups. Conclusions: This study reveals the central importance of mutual respect and tolerance as the defining criterion for being Mauritian. Moreover, the feeling, being, and doing clusters of criteria provide a theoretically interesting distinction for understanding national belonging. It is recommended to test their possible correlates further and to use adult samples as well.",
author = "{Ng Tseung-Wong}, Caroline and {van der Werf}, Femke and Maykel Verkuyten and Borja Martinovic",
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What it means to be a national: A study among adolescents in multicultural Mauritius. / Ng Tseung-Wong, Caroline; van der Werf, Femke; Verkuyten, Maykel; Martinovic, Borja.

In: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 4, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - What it means to be a national: A study among adolescents in multicultural Mauritius

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AU - van der Werf, Femke

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AB - Objectives: We investigated adolescents’ understandings of national group membership in multicultural Mauritius. We hypothesized that tolerance toward different cultures would be an important criterion for being Mauritian. In addition, national identity was expected to be defined in terms of “being,” “feeling,” and “doing.” The type of definition, and whether stopping being Mauritian is perceived as possible, was expected to depend on age and national identification. Possible differences by cultural group membership were explored. Method: The sample consisted of 2,190 adolescents of predominantly the three main cultural groups in Mauritius (Hindus, Muslims, and Creoles; Mage = 14.8 years, SDage = 1.7; 53% girls, 47% boys). Multiple correspondence and regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses. Results: The most important criterion mentioned for being Mauritian was respecting cultural diversity. Further, the criteria for national belonging could be clustered into being, feeling, and doing Mauritian. Older adolescents and higher national identifiers defined national belonging more in terms of feeling and less in terms of being than younger adolescents and lower national identifiers. In addition, they considered national identity to be less changeable. There were no clear differences between the three cultural groups. Conclusions: This study reveals the central importance of mutual respect and tolerance as the defining criterion for being Mauritian. Moreover, the feeling, being, and doing clusters of criteria provide a theoretically interesting distinction for understanding national belonging. It is recommended to test their possible correlates further and to use adult samples as well.

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