Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 189–222 | Cite as

Ethnicity, Modern Prejudice and the Quality of Life

  • Alex C. Michalos
  • Bruno D. Zumbo
Article

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to measure levels of ethnic or cultural background diversity, social cohesion and modern prejudice, and the impact of such diversity, cohesion and prejudice on the quality of life. Using a sample of 743 residents of Prince George, British Columbia, we identified diverse ethnic or cultural groups, and created several indexes of heterogeneous social networks and a measure of modern prejudice. Dividing the total sample into three roughly distinct groups containing, respectively, respondents self-reporting an ethnic or cultural background that was aboriginal, non-aboriginal visible minority or anything else, we discovered that all significant comparisons indicated that people with aboriginal backgrounds reported a generally lower quality of life than those in the other two groups. The quality of life scores of the other two groups were practically indistinguishable. Given the demographic structure of our sample, the revealed differences could not be attributed to differences in socio-economic classes. Members of the largest group of respondents tended to be most prejudiced and optimistic, people with aboriginal backgrounds tended to be least prejudiced and optimistic and people with visible minority backgrounds tended to be between the other two groups. Regressions revealed that a variety of ethnic/culture-related phenomena could only explain 8%, 9% and 10%, respectively, of the variation in scores for happiness, life satisfaction and satisfaction with the overall quality of life. When domain satisfaction scores were added to the set of predictors, we were able to explain 48%, 69% and 54%, respectively, of the variation in scores for happiness, life satisfaction and satisfaction with the overall quality of life. In the presence of the domain satisfaction scores, the scores on the ethnic/cultural related phenomena added only one percentage point of explanatory power for happiness and life satisfaction, and three percentage points for satisfaction with the overall quality of life. All things considered, then, it is fair to say that this project showed that ethnic or cultural background diversity, social cohesion and modern prejudice had relatively very little impact on the quality of life of our sample of respondents.

Keywords

Social Network Life Satisfaction Total Sample Explanatory Power Distinct Group 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Anderson, M.L. and P.H. Collins: 1995, ‘Shifting the center and reconstructing knowledge’, in M.L. Andersen and P.H. Collins (eds.), Race, Class, and Gender: An Anthology (Wadsworth Pub. Co., Belmont), pp. 1-9.Google Scholar
  2. Bader, V.: 1997, ‘Ethnicity and class: a proto-theoretical 'mapping' exercise’, in W.W. Isajiw (ed.), Multiculturalism in North America and Europe: Comparative Perspectives on Interethnic Relations and Social Incorporation (Canadian Scholar's Press, Toronto), pp. 103-128.Google Scholar
  3. Driedger, L.: 1996, Multi-Ethnic Canada Identities and Inequalities (Oxford University Press, Toronto).Google Scholar
  4. Henry, R., C. Tator, W. Mattis and T. Rees: 1995, The Colour of Democracy: Racism in Canadian Society (Harcourt Brace and Co. Canada, Toronto).Google Scholar
  5. Jensen, J.: 1998, Mapping Social Cohesion: The State of Canadian Research, (Canadian Policy Research Networks Inc., Ottawa) Study No. F/03.Google Scholar
  6. McConahay, J.B.: 1986, ‘Modern racism, ambivalence, and the Modern Racism Scale’, in J.F. Dovidio and S.L. Gaertner (eds.), Prejudice, Discrimination, and Racism (Academic Press, Orlando), pp. 91-125.Google Scholar
  7. Michalos, A.C.: 1985, ‘Multiple discrepancies theory (MDT)’, Social Indicators Research 16, pp. 347-413.Google Scholar
  8. Michalos, A.C.: 1988, ‘A feminist view of women and development’,Worldscape 2(1), pp. 5-7.Google Scholar
  9. Michalos, A.C.: 1991, Global Report on Student Well-Being: Volume 1, Life Satisfaction and Happiness (Springer-Verlag, New York).Google Scholar
  10. Michalos, A.C.: 1995, A Pragmatic Approach to Business Ethics (SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks).Google Scholar
  11. Michalos, A.C.: 1996, ‘Aspects of the quality of life in Prince George’, South Asian Journal of Psychology 1, pp. 45-70.Google Scholar
  12. Michalos, A.C. and B.D. Zumbo: 1999, ‘Public services and the quality of life’, Social Indicators Research 48, pp. 125-147.Google Scholar
  13. Michalos, A.C. and B.D. Zumbo: 2000, ‘Criminal victimization and the quality of life’, Social Indicators Research 50, pp. 245-295.Google Scholar
  14. Michalos, A.C., Zumbo, B.D. and A.M., Hubley: 2000, ‘Health and the Quality of Life’, Social Indicators Research 51, pp. 245-286.Google Scholar
  15. Morrison, M.A.: 1998, The Development and Validation of the Modern Homonegativity Scale (MHS) (University of Northern British Columbia, M.Sci.Thesis).Google Scholar
  16. Morrison, M.A., T.G. Morrison, G.A. Pope and B. D. Zumbo: (1999). 'An investigation of measures of modern and old-fashioned sexism’, Social Indicators Research 48, pp. 39-49.Google Scholar
  17. Mullen, B. and C. Copper: 1994, ‘The relation between group cohesiveness and performance: an integration’, Psychological Bulletin 115, pp. 210-227.Google Scholar
  18. Newman, L.M. (ed.): 1985, Men's Ideas/Women's Realities (Pergamon Press, New York).Google Scholar
  19. Parsons, T.: 1951, The Social System (Free Press, New York).Google Scholar
  20. Portes, A.: 1998, ‘Social capital: its origins and applications in modern sociology’, Annual Review of Sociology 24, pp. 1-24.Google Scholar
  21. Putnam, R.: 1993, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton University Press, Princeton).Google Scholar
  22. Putnam, R.: 1995, ‘Bowling alone: America's declining social capital’, Journal of Democracy 6, pp. 65-78.Google Scholar
  23. Putnam, R.: 1996, ‘The strange disappearance of civic America’, American Prospect 24, pp. 34-48.Google Scholar
  24. Sills, D.L. (ed.): International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Collier and Macmillan, New York).Google Scholar
  25. Swim, J.K., K.J. Aikin, W.S. Hall and B.A. Hunter: 1995, ‘Sexism and racism: old-fashioned and modern prejudices’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 68(2), pp. 199-214.Google Scholar
  26. Thomas, D.R., E. Hughes and B.D. Zumbo: 1998, ‘On variable importance in linear regression’, Social Indicators Research 45, pp. 253-275.Google Scholar
  27. Weber, M.: 1971, (First edition 1922) Économie et sociétè (Plon, Paris).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex C. Michalos
    • 1
  • Bruno D. Zumbo
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Social Research and EvaluationUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince George
  2. 2.Measurement, Evaluation and Research Methodology ProgramUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouver

Personalised recommendations