Identity in South Africa: Examining self-descriptions across ethnic groups

Adams, Byron G., Van de Vijver, Fons J.R. and De Bruin, Gideon P. (2012) Identity in South Africa: Examining self-descriptions across ethnic groups. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36 3: 377-388. doi:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.11.008

Author Adams, Byron G.
Van de Vijver, Fons J.R.
De Bruin, Gideon P.
Title Identity in South Africa: Examining self-descriptions across ethnic groups
Journal name International Journal of Intercultural Relations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0147-1767
Publication date 2012-05-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2011.11.008
Volume 36
Issue 3
Start page 377
End page 388
Total pages 12
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Language eng
Abstract We examined identity indicators in free self-descriptions of African, Coloured, Indian, and White ethnic groups in South Africa. Based on trait theory, independence-interdependence, and individualism-collectivism, we predicted that the individualistic White group would have more independent and context-free identity descriptions than the other, more collectivistic groups. We did not expect differences across the four groups in terms of Ideological, Religious, Spiritual and Ethnic aspects of identity. Loglinear analyses of the coded self-descriptions largely confirmed expectations for the African and White groups, but less so for the Coloured and Indian groups. Overall, the study found a large number of cross-cultural similarities with independent, individualistic, context-free and Dispositional Descriptions prevalent in all groups. The most salient difference between the African and White groups was that the African group was more likely than the White group to specify target persons in relational self-descriptions. This suggests a stronger in-group-out-group distinction in the African group.
Keyword Self-descriptions
Trait theory
Cultural Psychology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 15 December 2011.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
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