familism in the u.s. of a.

following up from yesterday’s post, i thought i’d look at familism in some other ethnic groups in the u.s. in addition to the anglos and mexicans.

again, i’m looking at how much contact the individuals from different groups have with family members. this is a way of measuring “behavioral familism” — familism “expressed in everyday actions, or major decisions, informed by one’s attachment to family ties”. this time i stuck to just extended-family members (aunt/uncles, nieces/nephews, cousins) ’cause i thought that might be more telling — if you’re in regular contact … a LOT … with these more distant relatives, you’re probably familistic. that’s my thinking, anyway.

looked at the following questions from the 2002 general social survey:

“How often do you contact your uncles/aunts?”
“How often do you contact your nieces/nephews?”
“How often do you contact your cousin(s)?”

the possible answers were:

“More than twice in last 4 weeks.”
“Once or twice in last 4 weeks.”
“Not at all in last 4 weeks.”
“I have no living relative of this type.”

i’ve collapsed the first two together to make the responses sorta “yes” or “no” (contacted x in the last 4 weeks). i also skipping the “no living relative” answer. if you’re dying to see all data, i can post it.

the variables chosen were: COUNTRY OF FAMILY ORIGIN, HOW OFTEN DOES R CONTACT UNCLES OR AUNTS, HOW OFTEN DOES R CONTACT NIECES AND NEPHEWS, HOW OFTEN DOES R CONTACT COUSIN, and for the irish RELIGION IN WHICH RAISED to try to distinguish the scotch-irish from roman catholic irish. none of it is perfect, i know, but you gotta work with whatcha got.

the countries with a good-sized data set (n≧50) were: england & wales (the “anglos” – n=96), italy (n=53-54), scotch-irish (protestant irish – n=51), and germany (n=150). the mexicans (n=32) and irish catholics (n=42-43) came up a little short, but i’ve included them anyway. keep in mind that the numbers for those two groups are kinda low.

without further ado (click on charts for LARGER views)…

“How often do you contact your uncles/aunts?”

“How often do you contact your nieces/nephews?”

“How often do you contact your cousin(s)?”

as you can see, in each of the three categories, all of the other groups are in contact with their distant-ish relatives more than the anglos — except for the scotch-irish who appear to behave the most like the anglos here. mexicans are much more likely to keep in regular contact with their aunts/uncles or nieces/nephews than anglo-americans (53% vs. 32% and 75% vs. 48% respectively), but italian-americans are also much more likely to keep in touch with their aunts/uncles on a monthly basis (47%). the roman catholic irish, too, more familistic than anglo-americans — and even german-americans, except for the keeping-in-touch-with-nieces/nephews category, appear to be more familistic than anglo-americans.

so much for assimilation.

remember that familism goes hand-in-hand with fun things like corruption.

i also think it’s kinda neat to see that the familism goes more in the direction of the genetic flow than not: greater contact by aunts/uncles to nieces/nephews than the reverse, for instance. cool.

previously: anglo-american vs. mexican family values

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anglo-american vs. mexican family values

one of the ways to measure familism — behavioral familism (familism “expressed in everyday actions, or major decisions, informed by one’s attachment to family ties”) — is to find out how much contact the individuals in a given population have with their various family members: brothers, sisters, aunt, uncles, cousins, etc.

so i checked out the 2002 general social survey in which they asked questions like…

how often do you contact your cousin?”

…for the results for people whose family origins came from england or wales (“anglo-americans”) and from mexico. (i dunno how “anglo” some people from wales are, but what can an hbd chick do? gotta work with the data available.) obviously there’s no time depth here: the people with family origins from england — well, their families might’ve come over on the mayflower, or the gss people could’ve been interviewing the derb for all i know! same goes for the mexicans — could be recent immigrants, or fourth generation mexican-americans in new mexico.

unfortunately, the sample sizes for mexicans are on the small side — n=27-32 — so … grain of salt! the numbers for anglo-americans are better: n=80-96. here are the results (blue=anglos, orange=mexicans — click on charts for LARGER views):

Consider your favorite brother or sister – how often do you visit this brother or sister?

on the whole, mexicans are more likely to have more frequent person-to-person contact with their favorite sibling than anglo-americans, although the “daily” score is pretty close. no anglo-americans said that they lived with their favorite sibling, whereas 10% of mexicans in the u.s. said so.

Consider your favorite brother or sister – how often do you contact this brother or sister via telephone or letter? (remember: this is 2002.)

again, the general pattern seems to be more frequent telephone calls/correspondence between mexicans and their favorite sibling than with anglo-americans and theirs. twice as many mexicans responded “less often” than anglo-americans, but maybe ’cause that’s ’cause they actually see their favorite sibling so often. -?-

this pattern of mexicans having more contact with their family members than anglos becomes more pronounced/clearer to see with the more distant family members…

“How often do you contact your uncles/aunts?”

“How often do you contact your nieces/nephews?”

“How often do you contact your cousin(s)?”

now i’m curious to check out other ethnic groups…. (^_^)

previously: hispanic family values

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hispanic family values

lots of conservatives (rinos in particular maybe) like to talk about how great hispanic/mexican family values are, and what a wonderful addition these will be to american society (never mind the sky-high illegitimacy rates in the hispanic community) — but what these so-called conservatives don’t understand is that hispanic/mexican family values are different from our (well, your, if you’re a wasp that is) family values.

it’s called familism (familismono kidding!) — and hispanics/mexicans got it in spades [pg. 314 – pdf]:

Familism can be defined as a social pattern whereby individual interests, decisions, and actions are conditioned by a network of relatives thought in many ways to take priority over the individual. This social pattern manifests itself through three dimensions: (1) the attitudinal, expressed in dispositions, values, and beliefs that prioritize the welfare of the family; (2) the behavioral, expressed in everyday actions, or major decisions, informed by one’s attachment to family ties; and (3) the structural, expressed in the spatial architecture of family networks (Steidel and Contreras 2003; Valenzuela and Dornbusch 1994). Researchers from several disciplines have observed that familism is an important component of Hispanic culture (Okagaki and Frensch 1998; Oyserman, Coon, and Kemmelmeier 2002). At the attitudinal level, Hispanic adults and adolescents value interdependence, as well as family support and obligations, more so than whites (Fuligni, Tseng, and Lam 1999; Harrison et al. 1990; Sabogal et al. 1987). At the behavioral level, Hispanics report higher degrees of familial cohesion and intimacy than whites (Niemann, Romero, and Arbona 2000; Sabogal et al. 1987) and assist family members in instrumental ways more so than whites (Sarkisian, Gerena, and Gerstel 2006). And at the structural level, Hispanics, and Mexican Americans in particular, live in larger and denser kinship networks than whites (Sarkisian et al. 2006; Valenzuela and Dornbusch 1994).”

well, that all sounds great — and it is, in its own way — but what it isn’t is anything like the anglo/anglo-american family tradition which is based upon the nuclear family and the individualism of its members, a societal structure that appears to go right back to the thirteenth century (see also here and here). if someone says to you “hispanic family values,” you should absolutely not picture in your mind june and ward cleaver along with wally and the beav — and, maybe, uncle billy coming over for thanksgiving dinner every other year.

no. hispanic/mexican familism (and, of course, there is a lot of variety here — latin america is a big place) means a lot of extended family — and, for whatever reasons, a lot of extended family obligations. which is also fine — but there are only twenty-four hours in a day, and if you’ve got obligations to your immediate family AND your tío jorge and all his kids, and your tía rosa and all her kids, etc., etc., there’s simply going to be less time in your day to devote to other things like the broader community. as someone who comes from a large clan (52 first cousins!), i know this to be true — there’s just not a whole lot of spare time for anything other than family (except you guys, of course! (~_^) ).

“but won’t hispanics quit being so extended-family oriented once they assimilate to american culture, hbd chick?”

i dunno. and neither does anyone else.

there are some indications that the amount of some aspects of familism is lower among hispanics/mexicans raised in the u.s. than their immigrant parents, but not all aspects — and all of these familism metrics remain higher in hispanic groups than for white americans. (what would be interesting to know is how much familism there is in the new mexican hispanic population. i couldn’t find anything on that anywhere — might try to dig some data up from the gss myself….)

i’m of the opinion that the development of strong feelings towards one’s extended family (or not) is a question of evolution, so changing those feelings, afaics, ought to take some time. the english (see links above or the “mating patterns in europe series” below ↓ in left-hand column) have had a loooong history of individualism and nuclear families, a process which started, i think, in the early medieval period with the bans on cousin marriage by the roman catholic church. mexicans, and other hispanics, have had a very different evolutionary history when it comes to family feelings and cohesiveness.

the colonial mayans, for instance, had close, endogamous mating patterns — and they lived in extended-family settlements, just as their pre-columbian ancestors had done, indicating that extended-family-ness in mayan society goes way back [pgs. 368-369]:

“[T]he Mayas divided up house-plots or treated contiguous plots as one so that what might have officially been nuclear families living on separate house-plots were really multiple-residence extended-family household complexes. Not only have such patterns of residential clustering survived to the present in much of Mexico, but they have been observed by archaeologists for a number of pre-Columbian Maya sites — most notably Coba, Dzibilchaltun, K’axob, Mayapan, and Tikal….

“[A] typical grandfamily household might occupy adjacent house-plots and its member frequent the neighboring plots of related households of the same patronym-group or alliance of patronym-groups.

“The free movement of family members and animals between plots symbolized the blurred lines between separate and joint…. To avoid cutting up parcels of land … Mayas made use of the parallel principle of multial, ‘joint ownership.’ Typically then, a plot of land was placed in the hands of a representative of the household or, in the cases of large cultivated plots, the patronym-group….

“Because those household members who lived on or from a plot of land were in some sense considered its joint owners, family members effectively held shares in such property, which they then left to successive generations.”

the spanish tried to break down these extended family units by forcing the natives to register their houses/lands according to nuclear family units (eg. one house with a certain amount of acreage connected to it), but as restall describes above, the maya simply worked around these bureaucratic nuisances. what needed to be done, of course, was to ban close marriages in the new world — but that was too much of an imposition on all those potential new world recruits that the church so desperately wanted to harvest, so they gave much of latin america a (beyond first cousin) cousin marriage dispensation in 1537 (including mexico, i think, but i do need to double-check that).

aztec society was structured quite differently from that of the maya, but from what i understand (so far) about the aztecs, extended families and “clans” (calpulli) were also very important there. (i’ll get back to you on aztec society when i get through reading more about them!)

in any case, hispanics/mexicans are still devoted to their extended families. not that there’s anything wrong with that! except that familism does tend to go along with some other, undesirable societal features like corruption (see lipset and lenz) — fyi, mexico ranked #100 in transparency international’s 2011 survey.

true conservatives would hold off on inviting tens of millions of people from a very differently behaving population into this country — at least until we understood something of why the behaviors differed.

previously: mating patterns in colonial mexico: the mayans

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random notes: 10/19/12

couple of notes that i want to jot down (so i don’t forget them!) that i thought some of you might like to read, too. also, a bleg or two. i’ll start with the blegging to get it out of the way…
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how quickly can a population become clannish via close mating (ithiw)?

consider the dutch woonwagenbewoners or “caravan dwellers.” these are a group of about 30,000 people in the netherlands who live (or lived up until recently) a gypsy-like existence, but who are not related to gypsies. if i’m reading the google translation of the dutch wikipedia article correctly, the woonwagenbewoners adopted their nomadic lifestyle around 1850 — six-ish generations ago(?) if we count a generation as twenty-five years in length.

nowadays there are reports of woonwagenbewoners engaging in family feuds — one woonwagenbewoner family versus another woonwagenbewoner family (original heregoogle translation):

“On the Joost de Momperstraat, a stone’s throw from the Doolplein, sometimes with nostalgia thought back to the good old days. It was very cozy in ‘camp’, almost a big family. That is quite different. Since the murder of an inmate two years ago, there is a feud between two families caravan, which has already resulted in wild shootings, assaults and threats. A family has moved to another place – after the father – but the sultry atmosphere remained.”

this doesn’t sound like a full-fledged “bloedwraak” (vendetta), but it does sound like the woonwagenbewoners (love that word!) aren’t opposed to a little feuding — which typically goes along with clannishness.

presumably the woonwagenbewoners have tended to marry amongst themselves down through the years (although i don’t know that for certain). my question is: did they start off from very outbred dutch populations, or more inbred ones? in other words, were they already clannish when they hit the road, or is that something that’s developed in the last 150 or so years?

we know, for instance, that some of the dutch population — in friesland and in coastal areas — wasn’t manorialized like the rest of the netherlands during the medieval period and so stuck to the old ways for longer, probably including close marriages, but definitely including clannishness and blood feuding.

so my bleg is: anybody know where the woonwagenbewoners came from? a particular region or regions of the netherlands perhaps? inquiring hbd chicks want to know! any info on this group would be appreciated. (^_^)

ithiw = if that’s how it works.
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i had a post up before showing that father’s brother’s daughter (fbd) marriage — the kind favored by arabs and other muslims in that area of the world — amounts to more inbreeding than other forms of cousin marriage because it, in effect, leads to more double-first cousin marriage. well, here’s another reason the whole system leads to greater inbreeding — from The Structure of Parallel Cousin Marriage i learn that, in a society where fbd marriage is very common, your maternal first cousins wind up also being your paternal second cousins. (i tried to figure this out before, but it made my head spin.) this is because the family lineages in fbd marriage societies fold back in on themselves [pg. 22]:

“Since Bedouin society is based largely upon ties of kinship, each minimal-sized agnatic unit becomes virtually self contained and encysted. This can be shown in diagram B, which illustrates the convergence of father’s and mother’s lines in an ideal system of patrilateral parallel cousin marriage. Even the sporadic occurence of cross-cousin marriage fails to break the social isolation of the group. Diagram C shows a cross-cousin marriage within a system structured primarily by parallel cousin marriage; it can be seen that the cross cousins indicated are also second degree patrilateral parallel cousins, and we would venture to hypothesize that the Bedouin would interpret the relation in the latter way.”

“encysted.” good word. maybe one of these days i’ll diagram this.
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from Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective, we learn that human trafficking operations out of the balkans (oh god — not the balkans again!) are typically extended family/clan operations … and their victims frequently members of rival clans [pgs. 121-22]:

Balkan traffickers operate within family groups. Therefore, although the organizations are controlled by men, there are cases in which operations in a particular country or region are controlled by female family members or by outsiders. For example, French police, through wiretaps, discovered that a sister of one of the French-based Balkan traffickers was operating a cell in Belgium. As the previous chapter pointed out, Balkan criminals maintain control across several neighboring countries. Belgian and Dutch women, as mentioned in Chapter 3, have been hired by Balkan clans to help run day-to-day operations because they arouse less police suspicion.”

and from earlier in this section:

“Female victims were often those whose families had died or women seized as part of blood revenge by one family against another.”

which brings me back to some of the points i made in this post.

aren’t people wonderful?
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(note: comments do not require an email. something cheery!)

altruism towards cousins

here’s a neat, little paper i came across during my r&r: Altruism towards Cousins [pdf]. sounds like it should be right up my alley! (^_^)

the authors — joonghwan jeon and david m. buss — conducted a study of some “w.e.i.r.d.” students at the univ. of texas (n=195) to see if they might treat and feel about their different cousins differently — the different cousins being (hold on!): father’s brother’s (FB) kids, father’s sister’s (FZ) kids, mother’s brother’s (MB) kids, and mother’s sister’s (MZ) kids. they quizzed their subjects on such things like, “would you run into a burning building to save your father’s brother’s son?” — and so on and so forth.

their hypothesis was that, because of paternity uncertainty, people ought to feel closer to, and be more altruistic towards, their mother’s sister’s kids since the connection between those cousins is via two mothers (mother and mother’s sister) and, therefore, the relatedness pretty certain. on the other hand, people ought to show the least altruism towards their father’s brother’s kids since, in that case, the connection is via two fathers (father and father’s brother) thus a LOT of paternity uncertainty there.

they figured that the pattern of altruism ought to go like this: MZ kids first, FB kids last, MB and FZ kids somewhere in between.

so, what did they find?

well, after tweaking the data a bit — i.e. to include things like residential proximity (or not) — they found that, yes, indeed, people are (or say that they would be) the most altruistic towards their MZ kids, then their MB kids, then their FZ kids, and lastly their FB kids. that seems to fit their hypothesis perfectly! however, the authors do note that, all things considered [pg. 1185]:

It is reasonable to conclude, however, that FaSis children [FZ kids] are the least likely to be helped among all the four cousin categories, because (i) the mean rating of FaSis children was invariably the lowest in the willingness-to-help scores, as well as in all the three psychological variables affecting altruism, (ii) the predicted linear trends proved to be highly significant for all the four dependent measures, and (iii) FaSis children were helped more than FaBro children, as predicted, although it just missed conventional significance. Given that MoSis children were always ranked at the top position with a high statistical significance (p less than or equal to 0.001) for all dependent measures, it remains to be revealed why the degree to which FaBro children are the least likely to be helped appears not to be as robust as expected.”

that would make the pattern — MZ kids, MB kids, FB kids, FZ kids — which doesn’t fit their prediction. not perfectly, anyway.

the raw data really don’t fit their prediction (click on table for LARGER view):

here we see three different patterns. although MZ kids always do come first, in two instances, the FB kids came second — and they should come dead last according to the paternity uncertainty theory — AND the MB kids came last twice, which is not right at all:

– willingness-to-help (i.e. burning building) = MZ kids, FZ kids, FB kids, MB kids
– emotional closeness = MZ kids, FB kids, MB kids, FZ kids
– empathic concern = MZ kids, FB kids, FZ kids, MB kids
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what i wondered was: could the fact that the different cousins are, on average, related to each other to different degrees be connected to how altruistic cousins are to one another?

the coefficient of relationship between any two first cousins is 0.125 (give or take a few genes here and there) — but this figure doesn’t take into account the differential inheritance of the x- and y-chromosomes in humans, and that that alters the relatedness between different family members depending on whether they are male or female (for some background on this, see this post — also, see this paper).

a long time ago in you know where…, i sat down and calculated the coefficients of relationship for different family members with the differential inheritance of the x- and y-chromosomes in mind. the plan was to do that for ALL the family members — all the various cousins, etc. — but, the best laid plans of mice and female bloggers….

so, unfortunately, i don’t have any new-and-improved coefficients of relationship for all the various cousins (nor do i feel like working on them today), but i DO have them for brothers and sisters, i.e. FB, FZ, MB and MZ. i think we can use them as a proxy for the cousin coefficients. here they are (assuming no inbreeding):

FB (B-B on the chart if you follow the link) = 0.5050
FZ (B-Z) = 0.4951
MB (Z-B) = 0.4872
MZ (Z-Z) = 0.5128

and, rearranged to be in order of relatedness:

MZ = 0.5128
FB = 0.5050
FZ = 0.4951
MB = 0.4872

so, if I were to predict which type of cousin people would be most altruistic towards, i would pick the MZ kids (score! three points to moi) — the least would the MB kids (two points! according to the raw data) — and then the FB kids second (two more points for me!) — and the FZ kids third (one point). that’s eight points to me and … six points to jeon and buss (using their prediction and the raw data). (~_^)

i kinda like my explanation. (^_^) but i could be wrong, of course (the likelihood is that i am, right?).

see also: genealogical terminology

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krvna osveta

anonymous has been under the false impression that i think that all balkan peoples are exactly the same. of course, nothing could be further from the truth (i’m hbd chick, after all! — emphasis on the “D” in this instance), which i’ve explained to him (her?) here. also, to date i’ve written a couple of posts on the greeks (here and here) and one on albanians. if i thought all balkan populations were the same, i wouldn’t have bothered to do that, would i?

anyway — what i do think is that there are, indeed, some underlying behavioral tendencies which all of the balkan populations share — tendencies towards clannishness and, in some cases, even a more extreme tribalism. after all, it’s not a coincidence that the word we use for balkanization is BALKANization. but there is variation in the balkan populations: from the apparently very clannish mountain dwelling albanians to the less-so-but-still-rather clannish greeks. the serbs fall in here somewhere as well, a good portion of them closer to the greeks in behavior, but some of them more like the mountain albanians, which i’ll get to below.

first of all, what am i talking about here when i refer to clannish behaviors? what i mean is that some human populations here on planet earth (a majority, in fact, i think) are so family-oriented — extended family-oriented, often to the point of actually living in clan or tribal groups — that they fail, to some degree or another, at contributing voluntarily to a successful commonweal (to use m.g.’s phrasing!). clannish groups, to some degree or another, don’t manage liberal democracy, the avoidance of corruption, to have very civic societies, or to peacefully coexist with neighboring clans/tribes. i don’t think that other behaviors — like creating great art or science or building a large civilization — are, necessarily, hindered by clannishness. the chinese/han chinese, for instance, appear to have been marrying cousins/been clannish for a couple thousand years and it didn’t get (too much) in their way.

i also happen to think (theorize) that you get (different degrees of) clannishness by long-term inbreeding (regularly marrying first or second cousins) and/or long-term endogamous mating (regularly marrying something like third to fifth cousins); but even if that is not correct (which is, of course, entirely possible!), it is still very clear that clannish societies don’t do well in the areas mentioned above (not that liberal democracy, a lack of corruption, civicness or peaceful coexistence are necessary in life — just that, if, for whatever reasons, achieving one or more of those is your goal in life, being clannish ain’t gonna get you there!).

if westermeyer is right that mountainous populations inbreed more than lowland populations — and there are good indications that he is — then we shouldn’t be surprised that balkan populations have a history of close mating patterns…

…which is what i have found so far: at least some greeks have (or had up until recently) a preference for third cousin marriage; bosnian muslims have a preference for marrying in-laws (i.e. maternal relatives); and both macedonians and albanians seem to be ok with marriage to maternal relatives, too.

and, as we’ve seen before, the genetics back up this idea that balkan populations have been inbreeding/endogamously mating much more than other populations in europe — here’s a nice map of the within-country identical by descent rates for various european populations — the larger the circle, the more genes that are identical by descent in that population (albanians ftw!):


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so what about the serbs?

well, most (all?) serbs, of course, are christians, and have been since sometime around the seventh-ninth centuries — so right there we can safely guess that they’ve been at the receiving end of some sort of cousin marriage ban/s down through the centuries since that point. the conversion of serbs to christianity happened later than populations further west in europe, so they probably haven’t been subjected to the cousin bans for as long as, say, the english or the french.

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, i wrote an introductory post on mating patterns in medieval eastern europe. here’s what i had found out about the serbs:

levin also points out that the serbs seemed to, overall, have more regulations about cousin marriage than either the russians or bulgarians. the serbian church had heavy penances for even second cousin marriage, so perhaps the serbs have been outbreeding for longer than the russians.”

why the serbs were more focused on eliminating cousin marriage than the russians or bulgarians, i don’t know. but it’s interesting. the other question, of course, is how well were these regulations enforced? at this point i don’t know — and it may be difficult to find out — but going forward i will be keeping an eye out for any info on that. i think, though, that it’s safe to guess that, at least compared to most other balkan/eastern european populations, with the likely exception of the greeks, the serbs might have a relatively long history (800-1000 years?) of some amount of outbreeding (at least avoidance of first and second cousin marriage).

so how do the serbs fare when it comes to liberal democracy, corruption, civicness and inter-clan fighting? well, the serbs aren’t included in the woodley & bell paper on consanguinity and democracy, so i’ll have to skip that one.

corruption? not so good. serbia ranks #86 on transparency international’s corruption perceptions index. that’s far below the u.k. @16 or the u.s. @24. better than albania, though, which came in @95. but worse than greece @80.

civicness? not so good either. at or below the eastern european average on all the civicness questions — mostly below — and the east european averages are well below the averages for the anglo world. better than russia or bulgaria for many of the questions, though. (interestingly, stronger in church/religious org. and sports than labor unions.):

and how about inter-clan fighting or blood feuds (which are so popular in albania and were even in parts of greece)? well, it’s complicated.

some serbs — those in montenegro — along with the montenegrins and albanians there — did seem to practice krvna osveta or vendetta from the medieval period into the nineteenth century, but not (so much?) the serbs in serbia. the serb population in montenegro was comprised of clans and they fought with other clans, both fellow serbs and clans from other ethnic groups.

why the difference between serbs in serbia and serbs in montenegro? well, perhaps the serbs in montenegro simply felt more annoyed at having to live alongside other (hostile) ethnic groups and, so, battles ensued. or…

…”serbia” has moved around quite a bit over the centuries, but it has been more-or-less centered around where serbia is today:

as you can see, large areas of “serbia” — to the north — have often been located on the pannonian plain. those serbs who were a part of the kingdom of hungary definitely were flatlanders. perhaps this is why the serbians, historically, have been inclined towards outbreeding — a lot of them have been living in the lowlands. and, perhaps, the stringent regulations against cousin marriage issued by the medieval serbian orthodox church were directed mostly to the mountain dwelling serbs. dunno. but, certainly, that montenegro seems to be almost entirely covered in mountains (MONTEnegro), once again might fit the pattern of uplanders inbreeding and lowlanders not-so-much (montenegro serbians being more clannish, thus prolly inbreeding? serbian serbians not so clannish, thus prolly outbreeding more?).

serbians in serbia might not engage in vendetta today — or even in their recent past — but they do have some tendencies in that direction, like the royal blood feud between the houses of karađorđević and obrenović. the karađorđević-obrenović feud was something like what the plantagenets would’ve gotten up to, only in the nineteenth century rather than the fifteenth.

also, from that font of all knowledge, wikipedia:

“Another related feature, often lamented by Serbs themselves, is disunity and discord; as Slobodan Naumović puts it, ‘Disunity and discord have acquired in the Serbian popular imaginary a notorious, quasi-demiurgic status. They are often perceived as being the chief malefactors in Serbian history, causing political or military defeats, and threatening to tear Serbian society completely apart.’ That disunity is often quoted as the source of Serbian historic tragedies, from the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 to Yugoslav wars in 1990s. Even the contemporary notion of ‘two Serbias’ — one supposedly national, liberal and Eurocentric, and the other conservative, nationalist and Euroskeptic — seems to be the extension of the said discord. Popular proverbs ‘two Serbs, three political parties’ and ‘God save us from Serbs that may unite!’, and even the unofficial Serbian motto ‘only unity saves Serbs’ (Samo sloga Srbina spasava) illustrate the national frustration with the inability to unite over important issues.”

yup.

previously: mating patterns in medieval eastern europe and balkan endogamy and more on albanians and ελλάδα and more on greece and this one’s for g.w. and the flatlanders vs. the mountain people

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civic societies

**update below.**

in “Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy,” putnam, et. al., measured the civic-ness of italians (north and south) by looking at how many people in each region belonged to voluntary associations — charity groups, lions clubs, hiking clubs, etc., etc.

such questions were asked in the 2005-08 wave of the world values survey:

“Now I am going to read out a list of voluntary organizations; for each one, could you tell me whether you are a member, an active member, an inactive member or not a member of that type of organization?

– Church or religious organization
– Sport or recreation organization
– Art, music or educational organization
– Labour union
– Political party
– Environmental organization
– Professional association
– Charitable organization
– Any other voluntary organization”

here’s the data for a whole bunch of countries: the anglo-world, the french + the germanics (i never know what to do with the french!), southern europe, eastern europe, the muslim world (well, middle east + maghreb), and east/southeast asia. haven’t done africa or latin america yet. i’ve only included the percentages of respondents who said they were active members. (yes, some of the data is prolly skewed ’cause of large-ish immigrant populations in some countries.)

first, the averages for each region. sports really is the new religion:

the anglo world — most civic. i’ve highlighted the u.s. just ’cause i’m an americun:

western europe, i.e. the french and a bunch of the germanics. pretty civic, especially the swiss:

southern europe – italy not very civic. but we already knew that:

eastern europe – not very civic at all. but the finns don’t really belong there – they’re pretty civic:

east and southeast asians? more civic than eastern europeans on average. go indonesia!:

muslim countries (middle east + maghreb)? civics FAIL. iranians (prolly persians) make a decent showing:

update 11/26: here are the tables for africa, latin america, and india (all on its lonesome). i’m impressed with the figures for the african nations surveyed — pretty gosh-durned civic! kudos to them for giving a f*ck. i thought mali was pretty interesting — they also scored high on a couple of the trust questions:

the latin americans — kinda average, really. i highlighted mexico ’cause we got a lot o’ mexicans in the u.s. their scores are quite respectable really:

all i’ve got for south asia is india. indians are all about politics, apparently (right after religion):

another update 11/26: see also civic societies ii

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good civicness vs. bad civicness

from Civic Engagement and Corruption in 20 European Democracies: Separating the Bright from the Dark Side? [pdf] i learn that there is GOOD (inclusive) civicness and there is BAD (exclusive) civicness [pg. 65]:

“The idea underlying the inclusive/exclusive networks distinction then is that groups focusing on individual-oriented goods such as personal materials, status or group identity goods are more likely to generate exclusiveness.”

the problem is that studies have shown that, while the inclusive networks are associated with lower corruption in any given society, “involvement with the latter [exclusive networks] actually shows the reverse tendency” [pg. 73].

oh dear.

inclusive civicness networks include: sport / outdoor hobby groups; cultural organizations; humanitarian organizations / charities; environmental groups; church / religious organizations; political parties; and science / education / youth groups.

exclusive civicness networks include: trade unions; business / professional / farmer organizations; consumer / auto groups; and social clubs / young / elderly / women.

i like to think of them as group-oriented vs. more personally-oriented groups (see what i mean?).

looking back on a previous post on civicness patterns around the world, we see that this does seem to fit:

– the anglo world, which is known for being not-sooo-corrupt, has relatively low participation rates in labor unions (10.1%) — exclusive civicness networks — compared to very high participation rates in inclusive civicness networks like humanitarian organizations/charities (19.8%) or sports groups (28.5%);

– meanwhile, eastern europe, which is known for being pretty-durned-corrupt, has relatively high participation rates in labor unions (5.1%) compared to low participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (2.7%) or sports groups (7.1%) (kinda);

– same holds true for india — relatively high participation rates in labor unions (15.7%) versus comparatively lower participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (10.8%) or sports groups (15.9%) — and also pretty corrupt.

and looking at civicness amongst the races in the u.s.:

– whites have a relatively low participation rates in labor unions (7%), with pretty high participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (16.5%) and sports groups (17.1%).

– both blacks and hispanics have relatively high participation rates in labor unions (10.3% and 8.6% respectively), with comparatively low participation rates in humanitarian organizations/charities (11.7% and 6.8%) and sports groups (14.9% [kinda] and 8.6%).

this pattern is definitely something i’ll be keeping a look out for in future posts on civicness!

see also: “Applying the concepts of bonding and bridging social capital to empirical research” by sonja zmerli, 2003, european political science 2(3).

previously: civic societies and civic societies ii

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