Similarities in Italian and Greek Multidimensional Ethnic Identity: Some Implications for Food Consumption

By Laroche, Michel; Kim, Chankon; Tomiuk, Marc A; Bélisle, Deny | Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, June 2005 | Go to article overview
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Similarities in Italian and Greek Multidimensional Ethnic Identity: Some Implications for Food Consumption

Laroche, Michel; Kim, Chankon; Tomiuk, Marc A; Bélisle, Deny, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences


The authors propose a general three-dimensional structure of ethnic identity for Italian- and Greek-Canadians with the following three dimensions: (a) Ethnic Language Use with Family Members, (b) Ethnic Language Media Exposure, and (c) Ethnic Attachment. They executed preliminary exploratory factor analyses (EFAs) and subsequent confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) separately for each ethnic group. Results suggest much similarity between the measurement models of each group. The CFAs also indicate that the two language-based dimensions are the most reliable indicators of ethnic identity for both ethnic groups. One multisample analysis points to potentially invariant measurement structures between the two groups and another is indicative of stability of the proposed general structure between men and women. Estimates from additional second-order confirmatory factor analysis models, which also include acculturation, serve to demonstrate that the ethnic identity construct is discriminant of acculturation for both groups. Structural equation modeling shows that ethnic identity dimensions tend to be positively related to the consumption of traditional foods for both Greek- and Italian-Canadians. On the other hand, the hypothesis that ethnic identity is negatively related to the consumption of convenience foods received only partial confirmation. This was reflected by the Italian-Canadian sample but not by its Greek-Canadian counterpart.

JEL Classification: M3

Keywords: Ethnic identity; ethnic food consumption; multisample analysis; Greek-Canadians; Italian-Canadians


Le présent article propose une structure générale à trois dimensions pour l'identité ethnique des Italo- et des HeIléno-Canadiens. La structure proposée comprend (a) l'utilisation de la langue ethnique avec les membres de la famille, (b) l'exposition à la langue maternelle dans les médias, et (c) l'attachement ethnique. Des analyses factorielles exploratoires préliminaires (EFAs) et confirmatoires (CFAs) sont réalisées séparément pour chacun des deux groupes ethniques. Les résultats suggèrent une grande similarité entre les modèles de mesure proposés pour chaque groupe. Les analyses factorielles confirmatoires indiquent que les deux dimensions à caractère linguistique représentent les indicateurs les plus fiables de l'identité ethnique pour les deux groupes ethniques. L'analyse confirmatoire multi-groupes met en évidence des structures de mesure potentiellement invariantes entre les deux communautés tandis qu 'une autre analyse met en lumière la stabilité de la structure proposée entre les hommes et les femmes. Des analyses factorielles confirmatoire s de second ordre incluant le concept « acculturation » permettent de démontrer que dans les deux groupes étudiés, le concept d'identité ethnique ne prend pas en compte le concept d'acculturation. Le modèle d'équation structurelle indique que pour les Helléno- et les Italo-Canadiens, les dimensions de l'identité ethnique tendent à être positivement reliées à la consommation d'aliments traditionnels. Par ailleurs, l'hypothèse selon laquelle l'identité ethnique est négativement reliée à la consommation de produits alimentaires de convenance est partiellement validée et uniquement dans l'échantillon d'halo-Canadiens.

Mots clés : Identité ethnique; consommation d'aliments ethniques; analyses multi-groupes; Helléno-Canadiens, Italo-Canadiens

How individuals maintain involvement with their ethnic group or culture of origin remains an enduring question in multicultural environments such as Canada. Rather than being assimilated, members of ethnic groups have reportedly experienced a more complex and multifaceted form of adaptation. Some have thus not only acquired the skills and/or traits which have enabled them to function within a majority or host culture, but have also retained aspects of their cultures of origin. The former facet has been referred to as acculturation and the latter has often been labelled ethnic identity (Aboud, 1988; Keefe, 1980; Keefe & Padilla, 1987; Mendoza, 1989; Phinney, 1990, 1996).

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Similarities in Italian and Greek Multidimensional Ethnic Identity: Some Implications for Food Consumption


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