فرهنگ، خوداثربخشی و حمایت اجتماعی در میان مهاجران چینی در ایرلند شمالی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26282||2009||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6606 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 33, Issue 4, July 2009, Pages 291–300
An opportunity sample of 108 Chinese participants (nmale = 51 and nfemale = 57; Mage = 29.34) was compared to a second opportunity sample of 98 Northern Irish participants (nmale = 45 and nfemale = 53; Mage = 23.67) on levels of acculturation, self-efficacy and social support. The administered questionnaire contained three scales to measure the aforementioned constructs. The first was the AMAS-NIC, a version of the Abbreviated Multidimensional Acculturation Scale [Zea, M. C., Asner-Self, K. K., Birman, D., & Buki, L. P. (2003). The Abbreviated Multidimensional Acculturation Scale: Empirical validation with two Latino/Latina samples. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 9, 107–126] modified to apply to a population of Chinese immigrants in Northern Ireland. The second measure was Mary Wegner's 1992 English version of the General Self-Efficacy Scale [Wright, S., Johnston, M., & Weinman, J. (1995). Measures in health psychology portfolio. UK: Windsor]. The third was the Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ) whose items emerged through a semi-structured interview and was designed to measure levels of received and sought social support. The purpose of the study was to ascertain the extent to which previous findings concerning acculturation can be generalised to a Chinese immigrant population in Northern Ireland, a country characterised by segregation. T-tests, correlation analyses and a hierarchical regression initially provided support for the generalisability of previous studies on the health benefits of integration as a preferred acculturation strategy [Berry, J. W. (2008). Globalisation and acculturation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32, 328–336], but further interpretation of the results brought to light the shortcomings of this model in the context of a segregated society and the inapplicability of the GSES measure within a collectivistic immigrant population. The limitations of the study are discussed and recommendations for future research are made.
1.1. Previous research Acculturation is the process whereby an individual or group undergoes behavioural and psychological changes as a consequence of extended contact with another culture (Matsudaira, 2006 and Zea et al., 2003). Berry, 2005 and Berry, 2008 identifies four different strategies for acculturation, each associated with characteristic psychological and behavioural processes and consequences. The strategies are marginalisation, separation, assimilation and integration. The orthogonal dimensions defining these acculturation strategies are, as depicted in Fig. 1, attitudes toward contact with the native society, and maintenance of the original culture and identity (Berry, 2008). Marginalisation is the consequence of an individual or group forsaking their cultural heritage but also failing to partake in the native society. Illiterate refugees are prone to this strategy as they become sceptical after experiencing the failures of both their old and new countries, and lack the benefits of literature which could help them both to retain their original culture and to learn of the new one (Elmeroth, 2003). Separation is the strategy utilised by those who wish to preserve their cultural heritage and avoid interaction with the dominant cultural group. This is prevalent for example among adult immigrants in Sweden where a poor knowledge of Swedish after a seven-year residency in the country has been identified as an indicator of separation behaviour correlating with low mental health (Bayard-Burfield, Sundquist, & Johansson, 2001). Assimilation is the strategy of replacing one's original customs and culture with those of the mainstream society. This is often evident among youth who have been found to show low support for family engagements and a preference for native peers (Berry et al., 2006 and Ghuman, 2002). The final strategy, integration, is characterised by the maintenance of an ethnic cultural heritage coupled with a desire for regular interaction with the larger social network. A current example of integration is offered by the Vietnamese in Ireland. A recent ethnographic article described how their cultural heritage of building shrines has been incorporated into the Western tradition of valuing scholastic achievement. Photos of graduations and award ceremonies, adjacent to the more traditional alters for their ancestors, resemble modern shrines in the homes of the Vietnamese-Irish (Maguire & Saris, 2007). According to Berry et al. (2006), integration as an acculturation strategy is correlated with the best sociocultural and psychological adaptation outcomes. Contrarily, marginalisation is associated with the highest levels of psychological distress. Both separation and assimilation correlate with moderate levels of stress and adaptation. Full-size image (13 K) Fig. 1. Diagram of Berry's (2008) four acculturation strategies. Figure options According to the most recent census, taken in 2001, the Chinese constitute the largest ethnic minority in Northern Ireland representing 0.25% of the total population which at the time constituted 1 689 300 inhabitants (NISRA, 2001 and NISRA, 2007). Despite this, research into the well-being and acculturation of Chinese in Northern Irish society is negligible. Extensive research has been conducted by Ghuman, 1994 and Ghuman, 2003 concerning the acculturation of South-Asian youth in Britain and Canada. The generalisability of these studies to this current research, however, should not be taken for granted. South Asians differ considerably from Chinese Asians in numerous respects such as history, religion and culture. A second factor to consider is that due to the limited age range of the participants, the acculturation preferences of the general immigrant population are not represented. Finally, Northern Ireland provides an idiosyncratic context due to its unique conflict history. In Northern Ireland, Catholics and Protestants actively maintain distinct identities through, for example, separate housing and education schemes (Campbell, Cairns & Mallett, 2004). Previous studies of acculturation have not been conducted in a country where intercultural conflict and segregation as a functional coping mechanism have been so prevalent among the host population. The purpose of this study is therefore to test the applicability of previous research concerning acculturation and integration on a sample of Chinese immigrants living in Northern Ireland, a country characterised by segregation and intergroup conflict. 1.2. Hypotheses Samers (1998) describes acculturation processes as bilinear and multifactorial, drawing attention to the fact that they are evident in a diversity of cultural and social experiences. In accord with this description, Zea et al. (2003) acculturation scale measures acculturation within three different factors, namely; cultural identity, language proficiency and cultural competence, referring to culture specific general knowledge. High scores on the Zea et al. (2003) acculturation scale are attained through reporting adeptness in both the ethnic and the host cultural factors represented in the scale, and are therefore indicative of an adoption of the integration strategy. Despite the prevalent hostility and segregation in Northern Ireland, it is anticipated that Catholics in Northern Ireland will be significantly more acquainted with Northern Irish language and culture, and possess stronger positive sentiments toward their Northern Irish identities than those of Chinese ethnicity in Northern Ireland. Acculturation is significantly associated with the psychological well-being of ethnic minorities (Abu-Rayya, 2006, Gailly, 1996 and Khan and Waheed, 2006). Due to the acculturation stress potentially experienced by immigrants and the subsequent negative psychological consequences (Ji & Duan, 2006), it is predicted that the Northern Irish participants will experience significantly higher levels of general well-being, as measured by the General Self-Efficacy Scale (Wright, Johnston, & Weinman, 1995), than the Chinese participants. Self-efficacy refers to an individual's perception of his/her ability to deal with unexpected or challenging events (Wright et al., 1995). Within psychological research variables such as health (Torres & Solberg, 2001) and health-related behaviours (Sohng, Sohng, & Yeam, 2002), as well as achievement, optimism and social integration (Schwarzer & Scholz, 2000), have significantly and positively correlated with self-efficacy. It could therefore be conceived that low self-efficacy would adversely affect the integration of immigrants through the discouragement of social interaction with the dominant group. Equally appropriately it could be surmised that failure to integrate could result in the loss of self-efficacy. These predictions are supported by studies on the negative psychological correlates associated with both low self-efficacy and dysfunctional acculturation (Fan and Mak, 1998, Pinquart et al., 2003 and Samers, 1998). Furthermore, a strong element of Chinese cultural philosophy is Confucianism which advocates status-conscious respect within communities (Wilkinson, 2002). The importance Confucianism places on status orientation could also lead to the prediction that the self-efficacy of Chinese immigrants could be significantly affected by minority (inferior) status experienced in association with lack of integration. It is therefore anticipated that the current study will find a significant, positive correlation between self-efficacy and acculturation scores among the sample of Chinese immigrants. Schuck (1998) describes how acculturation, and particularly language acquisition, is a continuous process across time and generations. Pham and Harris (2001) also found that the number of years Vietnamese-Americans had spent in the US partially predicted an increase in their self-esteem through increasing their inclination to adopt integration as an acculturation strategy. For this reason, the duration of residency in Northern Ireland is hypothesised to be significantly and positively correlated with the acquisition and increase of Northern Irish identity, language fluency and cultural competence as measured by the acculturation scale. When attempting to overcome obstacles in the acculturation process of immigrants, social support has been proven to be a significant factor related to the degree of psychological distress experienced by those settling into a new country (Pantelidou & Craig, 2006). In Northern Ireland, a Chinese Welfare Association (CWA) was founded in 1986 and is committed to securing the Chinese community's future by encouraging participation in the near and wider society and by promoting racial equality (CWA, 2006). If the goals of the CWA are achieved, the Chinese residents who are members of this organisation should experience the benefits of balanced integration. It is therefore hypothesised that Chinese immigrants who are active members of the CWA, entailing a regular participation in its activities and adherence to its goals, will have significantly higher means of acculturation scores. Subsequently it is also predicted that active members will experience higher levels of general well being measured as self-efficacy. If balanced integration is to be attained, however, social support should not only be experienced from the ethnic community but also from the host society. This is a particularly relevant issue to consider in the context of Northern Ireland where segregation already exists and racial prejudice is common (Connolly & Keenan, 2001). The prevalence of these attitudes could affect the Chinese immigrants’ perception of hostility from the native citizens and undermine the quality of social support they experience from them. Integration, as previously defined, implies both retention of original culture and an active effort to make contact with the native population (Berry, 2008). A measure was therefore devised for the purpose of this study, to assess levels of social support both received and sought by Chinese immigrants in Northern Ireland. Two separate dimensions were differentiated, namely; experienced social support versus hostility, and avoiding versus seeking affiliation with the host society. Solberg (1997) found that college students of ethnic minorities perceiving a greater availability of social support showed lower levels of acculturation stress. Social support can also be argued to be particularly important among Chinese whose home culture is strongly influenced by collectivism, referring to an ideology where group affiliation is central (Wilkinson, 2002). It is therefore hypothesised in this study that those who score low on the social support measures, indicating low levels of perceived hostility and avoidance, will obtain high scores on the acculturation scale. Perceived discrimination negatively predicts psychological well-being (Jasinskaja-Lahti, Liebkind, & Perhoniemi, 2007) and has been found to be associated with acculturation stress (Neto, 2002). Torres and Solberg (2001) also found social support to predict stronger self-efficacy. It is therefore also predicted that social hostility will negatively correlate with self-efficacy. The primary concern of this study is the investigation of the relation between acculturation and the well-being of Chinese immigrants in Northern Ireland, as measured by their level of self-efficacy. It is important, however, to account for other, potentially confounding variables. A study by De Pater, Van Vianen, Fischer, and Van Ginkel (2009) found females to be less likely to take on challenging tasks. Additionally, general research indicates women to be associated with higher levels of stress (Baker, 2003 and Day and Livingstone, 2003), which negatively correlates with self-efficacy (Schwarzer & Scholz, 2000). Gender is therefore a potentially confounding variable. Due to the fact that self-efficacy is a concept developed through research conducted in Western individualistic frameworks (Chong, 2007), it is also of essence to account for ethnic differences. Schuck (1998) also identified age as an important factor, where older immigrants were less able to successfully navigate the challenge of adapting to a new culture. The potential influence of duration of residency and social support on self-efficacy has also already been discussed. In a regression analysis, gender, ethnicity, age, duration of residency, social support and acculturation will therefore be included as potential contributors to the variance in self-efficacy scores. It is hypothesised that when accounting for all these, acculturation will be identified as the strongest predictor of scores on self-efficacy.