Collectivistic values and individualistic language as predictors of endorsement of citizenship activities among high school students

Ian Williamson, Marti Hope Gonzales, Patricia G. Avery, John L. Sullivan, Eric Riedel, Angela Bos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This is an exploratory study to determine whether the way in which attitudes about citizenship actions were measured would predict American students' endorsement of those actions. In a split-half design, half of the student respondents completed a questionnaire in which they rated the extent to which various citizenship actions were important; the other half of the sample rated those same actions on the extent to which they constituted duties. Consistent with our predictions, all students were significantly more willing to endorse civic actions when they rated those actions as important compared to when they rated them as duties. Further, students with a higher collectivistic value orientation were more likely to endorse citizenship actions as “important” than those lower in collectivism. There was no difference, however, between the groups when those same actions were described as “duties” inherent in citizenship. This supports the notion that in the United States, a highly individualistic culture, students are more willing to endorse civic actions as actions arising from personal values than from normative social imperatives. Implications for civic education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-217
Number of pages15
JournalTheory and Research in Social Education
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

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