Similarities and Differences in White Groups Based On Cultural Practices.

Ethnic Identity: Similarities and Differences in White Groups Based On Cultural Practices.

This paper focuses on Ethnic Identity: Similarities and differences in white groups based on cultural practices, which is an article that was compiled by James Koutrelakos in 2013. The article investigated the difference in the social identity of ethnicity in groups of people comprised of white racial category. A total number of four hundred and ninety-five participants were used in one of the varied six groups in the study to give distinctive and conclusive findings. Students from different schools at secondary and college level were invited to take membership on ethnic identity, for the purpose of this study. Both levels of education included six different schools each, based on the obvious differences on student population, geographical location in New Yolk and heritage courses offered in those institutions (Koutrelakos, 2013). Different classes were purposely sampled for the study by the author in order obtain the needed samples of participants of different white ethnic groups and who have enrolled in the varied ethnic heritage courses and who required school curriculum.

The participants were guaranteed of their privacy and were prior informed that their participation was entirely voluntary and that they could pull out anytime they wished without any repercussions. The students from high school were given parental consent forms to take home so that the parents would allow or forbid their children’s participation based on the study purpose explained in the form. The students from colleges were also presented with a form to sign their consent, of participation before the onset of the survey (Koutrelakos, 2013).

The author used students from high schools and colleges, who had ethnic self-labels for this study. The six different groups categorized for this study included Armenian, Greek, Jewish, European, Mixed White Ancestry, and Pan-ethnic. The findings asserted that participants who identify with certain white groups from the six different groups used, had higher scores on ethnic identity, than other participants. Thus, people who were associated with Jewish Americans and Greeks, had a higher score on ethnicity than those associated with European, mixed and Pan ethnic. Thus, there was a clear difference in the two major groups of White groups and non-specific white groups. Other differences were noted in the two groups especially in terms of education acquisition, religion, participation and competency in the language used for communication. Participants categorized in the white groups and subgroups had higher scores in the areas of language competency, education identity and religious affiliation and participation (Koutrelakos, 2013).

Regression analysis was used by the author of the article, and it showed that an individual’s ethnic language expertise and religious participation positively determined the ethnic identity of the two groups of specific and non-specific whites (Koutrelakos, 2013). However, the study also found out those factors such as age, sex and generation the ethnic identity of the participants. Those participants, who were from specific white groups, could increase their ethnic identity if their heritage education interacted with their ethnic language proficiency, but this could occur for students with low but not average or high competency.

The researcher prepared questionnaires that were distributed to the participants by three teachers for the study. The study took the form of a survey on the sampled participants, who returned the questionnaires at the rate of sixty-six percent (Koutrelakos, 2013). All the students completed their questionnaires during class time, apart from one college, whose students sent their responses via e-mail. This disparity in the mode of presenting feedback did not alter the ethnic identity of the participants in any way. However, the researcher did not state his hypothesis on the study in this area of ethnic identity.

The author heavily referenced his work and consulted the works done before to convince the readers and come up with more accurate information. This research stands out because out of the several literature reviews in line with ethnic identity, and only a limited number has focused on its development and maintenance in white ethnic groups. The findings also found that individuals who use definite labels to describe their ethnicity have a higher score on their ethnic identity than white people who use pan ethnic labels (Koutrelakos, 2013). The ideas presented in the article, such as factors affecting ethnic identity score, similarities and the differences of the white people inspire the readers.

The research focused on the ethnic identity of the groups of specific and non-specific whites, which is an area that has not received much investigation from the previous studies. The study was carried out in one state in America, New Yolk, and therefore cannot be enough evidence to generalize the findings in a global perspective. Generalization is inappropriate because this study did not take into consideration other people who reside in other places in the world and who could have fallen into the required ethnic groups. Globalization has led to multicultural societies all over the world, and, therefore, future research in this area should consider the effects of globalization and socialization on ethnic identity. The research will be useful to readers and students taking ethnic and culture related courses because they will have a deeper understanding of the ethnic identities of the white group based cultural practices.







Koutrelakos, J. (2013). Ethnic Identity: Similarities and Differences in White Groups Based On Cultural Practices. Psychological Reports112(3), 745-762. doi:10.2466/17.10.PR0.112.3.745