Ethnicity in the United States: A Preliminary Reconnaissance

By Andrew M. Greeley | Go to book overview
We began with a very simple theoretical question, Does a knowledge of the cultural heritage of an immigrant group help us to understand its present behavior? On the basis of the evidence presented, we would answer yes. The heritage may not explain everything, but it appears to explain some things. The critical questions now become, how does the interaction between the Old World culture and the New World experience shape the phenomena of American ethnic group cultures? Why in the immigrant experience were some parts of the Old World culture ignored, others rejected, others vigorously reinforced and maintained with little conscious effort, and still others vigorously and tenaciously reinforced with full consciousness?
NOTES
1. See the pertinent section of the Bibliography, and especially Banfield and Banfield, Cronin, Ianni, and Parsons.
2. Cronin's study of Italian immigrants in Australia shows that when it becomes economically possible to sustain the values and norms of the extended family system, the extended family reemerges.
3. See the pertinent section of the Bibliography, and especially Arensberg, Humphrey, Kimball, Messenger, and Jackson.
4. The items in our scale are described in the appendix to this chapter.
5. These measures were devised by Sidney Verba and Norman Nie. See their Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality. New York: Harper & Row, 1972.
6. See Bueil Chubb (Bibliography).

APPENDIX: SCALES USED IN THIS CHAPTER

I. Personality Scales
The seven personality measures used represented a number of the factors that emerged from a battery of 57 items. Here we list the items that had a factor loading of over .200 for each scale.
CONFORMING
According to your general impression, how often do your ideas and opinions about important matters differ from those of your relatives?
How often do your ideas and opinions differ from those of your friends?
How about from those of other people with your religious background?

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