Your Culture, My Culture!
The world population became more ethnically heterogeneous during the 21st century and this trend is likely to keep continuing (Wright & Littleford, 2002). In fact, certain reports predict that by the year 2050, the majority of the population in many countries will be minorities. The youth population of these countries is growing up in different circumstances than it did a few decades ago. Therefore, it is very important for us to understand factors that deal with ethnicity across diverse groups and how those factors may affect ethnic group membership. Ethnic identity, person perception, helpfulness, individualism, collectivism, and prejudice have all been researched in the past (Allport, 1954; Argyrides & Downey, 2001; Keefe & Padilla, 1987; Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992; Phinney, 1990; Triandis, 1990). However, few studies have investigated potential links among these variables. Conclusions have also been reached but with little attention and little focus on solid recommendations, especially in the youth. Existing literature seems to indicate that ethnic identity, person perception, individualism, collectivism, and prejudice have implications for a wide range of situations, may be related, and influence a person’s overall self-concept and identity. As known, the youth population is more vulnerable in many aspects and is more likely to be influenced by the above variables. These variables seem to have a significant impact on most cultures (Triandis, 1990) and have been assessed in several (Phinney, 1990; Triandis, 1990). More research is needed, especially in the youth population, as additional variables emerge in relation to ethnic concerns across diverse groups. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to examine the variables of ethnic identity, person perception, individualism, collectivism, and prejudice in the youth population of the Member Organizations (MOs) of the European Confederation of Youth Clubs (ECYC), as well as understand the effects of these variables on the development and identity of each individual. Research Questions The following questions are of interest: Do differences exist among the youth population who grew up in different countries on ethnic identity, person perception, individualism, collectivism, and prejudice? Are the five variables (i.e., ethnic identity, person perception, individualism, collectivism, and prejudice) related to each other in each of the youth population of each country?