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Examining the multiculturalism hypothesis in Norway among Russian-speaking immigrants and ethnic Norwegians

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Prof. David Lackland Sam

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Examining the multiculturalism hypothesis in Norway among Russian-speaking immigrants and ethnic Norwegians

  1. 1. Examining the multiculturalism hypothesis in Norway among Russian- speaking immigrants and ethnic Norwegians Prof. David Lackland Sam Bergen University, Norway
  2. 2. Examining the multiculturalism hypothesis in Norway among Russian-speaking immigrants and ethnic Norwegians
  3. 3. Introduction • Most contemporary societies are multicultural, i.e., the society is composed of different ethnocultural groups living side and side • A major challenge that many multicultural societies face is harmonious co-existance of the different ethnocultural groups, • And the need for the members of the ethnocultural groups feel that they are welcome and belong to the larger society. • Multiculturalism as a concept has different meanings; one of the meanings relate to policy and the application of the policy
  4. 4. Introduction Multiculturalism as a policy has two main components: •Cultural diversity is good for the individual members of the society, and for the society as a whole •Intercultural contact and participation to promote inclusion of all people in the larger society is also for the good of the larger society and for the individual.
  5. 5. Introduction • Canada is the first country to have implemented multiculturalism as policy, and this was in 1971 • The Canadian policy of Multiculturalism was designed to improve the quality of intercultural relations among all cultural communities within the plural Canadian society. • The goal of the policy is to enhance mutual acceptance among all ethnocultural groups.
  6. 6. Introduction -- Multiculturalism • This goal is to be approached through three programme components – Cultural component – Intercultural component – Communication component
  7. 7. The multiculturalim model
  8. 8. The multiculturalism model • This cultural component is intended to promote the security and confidence of all ethnocultural groups • It to be achieved by providing support to and encouragement for cultural maintenance and development among all ethnocultural groups. • The program is designed to ensure the continuing cultural diversity of the population over generations. • This program comes with the “MULTICULTURALISM HYPOTHESIS”
  9. 9. MULTICULTURALISM HYPOTHESIS • The hypothesis postulates: – when individuals feel secure in their group’s and personal place in society (with respect to their cultural identity and their economic situation), they will be more accepting of those who differ from themselves: – and this would lead to greater mutual acceptance. – Conversely, if they feel culturally, economically or personally threatened, they will reject others who are different from themselves.
  10. 10. MULTICULTURALISM HYPOTHESIS • This acceptance would entail lower levels of ethnocentrism and more positive views of multiculturalism. • Berry and Ward (2016) have also reported that dominant group members who are more accepting of a multicultural ideology have higher levels of self-esteem and life satisfaction.
  11. 11. The research question • To what extent is the multiculturalism hypothesis applicable in Norway
  12. 12. The study • Research funded by the Research Council of Norway as a collaborative study between Estonia and Norway examining factors that promote successful integration among Russians-speaking immigrants in the two countries • Online survey among 500 ethnic Norwegians and 250 Russian-speaking immigrants in Norwaydata collection
  13. 13. The analyses • Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were used to examine the hypothesis. • The goal of the analyses was to predict various forms of ethnocentrism (i.e., In-group feeling; Out-group feeling; In-group bias; Out-group trust), Multicultural ideology and psychological adaptation (self-esteem and satisfaction with life). • The predictors were Ethnic and National identity; Inter- group anxiety, and Security. • Age, gender and economic situation were controlled for in the analyses
  14. 14. Results • Demographic effects generally accounted for less than 5% of the explained variance • The four main predictors contributed an additional 8 to 20 % to the explained variance in the different outcomes examined. • In Step I, where the demographic variables were entered into the model, in about half of the instances, the explained variance was insignificant. • In some few cases (e.g., life satisfaction), the demographic variables accounted for over 20% of the explained variance.
  15. 15. Results • Nearly all the predictors entered on Step II al, made a significant contribution to the model • They also added substantially to the explained variance. • In the final Step, all the models became significant. • The predictors varied in their contribution, although there seems to be some consistent patterns.
  16. 16. Russian results • Security was positively related to: – In-group feelings, – Outgroup feelings, – Outgroup trust, – Multicultural Ideology and – Life satisfaction
  17. 17. Russian results • The more individuals felt secure, – the more positive were their feelings about their own group, and about the outgroup, – more trust in the outgroup, – more acceptance of multiculturalism, – and more life satisfaction.
  18. 18. Russian Results • Both ethnic and national identities were related to – higher outgroup feelings, – a higher multicultural ideology score, – and better satisfaction with life. • Ethnic identity was related to high in-group bias, • national identity was related to low in-group bias
  19. 19. Norwegian results • High feelings of security were related to – high Outgroup feeling, – high Out-group trust, – high Multicultural ideology scores and – better life satisfaction. • Security was also related to – low In-group feelings. • A high Ethnic identity score was related to – high In-group feelings and – high In-group bias..
  20. 20. Norwegian results • Inter-group anxiety was negatively related to – outgroup feeling, – self-esteem, – and life satisfaction among both Russians and Norwegians. I – low Out-group trust and – high In-group bias
  21. 21. Discussion and conclusions • The multiculturalism hypothesis to a large extent is supported here • At least Norwegian government, and in particualr towards Russians, but hopefully towards all ethnic groups, trying to work towards the cultural component of the model should be of great priority
  22. 22. • The presentation has given only one side of the story • Is it enough to promote only one side of the equation? • When politicians such as Angela Merkel says that multiculturalism has failed, obviously she is looking at only one side • The social component is equally very important • The inter-group contact and participatation is also very important
  23. 23. • A closing question to Estonians is whether the prompting the cultural component (and hopefully the other three components) will be good for the society

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