civic societies ii

first of all, i’ve updated the original civic societies post — all the way from yesterday! — to include africa, latin america, and india, so you might want to check that out.

and now … drum roll, please! … the totals for all the countries in the survey (that’s the world values survey, 2005-08 wave) — including a GLOBAL TOTAL. (see the previous post for why anybody should care.) again, answering the question(s):

“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”

and, again, these numbers represent people who responded ACTIVE MEMBER:

below are a whole bunch of charts illustrating these numbers. some interesting points:

– the middle east/maghreb and eastern europe are consistently at the bottom, swapping last place here and there — mostly the middle east/maghreb occupies the total losers position in the civic society rankings. arabs and eastern europeans seemingly just don’t give a f*ck.

– to my pleasant surprise, african nations always scored above the global total and very often near the top. whatever you wanna say about africans, they are civically engaged. good for them!

western europeans (either anglos or french/germanics) occupy the top spot almost half the time (4 out of 9); indians three times; africans twice.

– except for church/religious organization and charity/humanitarian organziation (two pretty good categories) latin americans always score below the global total.

east and southeast asians only scored above the global total on three questions: political party, environmental organization and professional organization.

anglos are waaay ahead of all the other groups in being active members of a charity/humanitarian organization.

africans are waaay ahead of everybody in being active members of a church or religious organization.

western europeans (including americans, canadians, australians, kiwis) luuuuuuuv sports.

ok. hold on. here are all the charts. click on any of them for a LARGER version (should open in a new browser tab/window):

i think there’s some funny numbers in this “other” category (see previous post, esp. the africa numbers), so take this chart with a grain of salt:

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whites most anxious

Fig 1 – Percentage of DSM-IV diagnoses across racial groups (SAD = social anxiety disorder, GAD = generalized anxiety disorder, PD = panic disorder, PTSD = post-traumatic stress disorder).


“A Cross-Ethnic Comparison of Lifetime Prevalence Rates of Anxiety Disorders”

“Figure 1 shows the prevalence rates of DSM-IV social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder for each individual racial group. As was found across a range of psychiatric disorders, Asian Americans consistently endorsed symptoms of all four anxiety disorders less frequently than any of the other racial groups. White Americans consistently endorsed symptoms of SAD (12.6%), GAD (8.6%) and PD (5.1%) more frequently than African Americans (8.6%, 4.9%, 3.8%, respectively), Hispanic Americans (8.2%, 5.8%, 4.1%, respectively), and Asian Americans (5.3%, 2.4%, 2.1%, respectively). African Americans more frequently met criteria for PTSD (8.6%) as compared to the White American subgroup (6.5%), Hispanic Americans (5.6%), and Asian Americans (1.6%)….

“Several studies have suggested that … a greater identification with one’s minority racial or cultural status is associated with higher levels of collective self esteem….”

for example.

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the meaning of life

for kids in l.a.

this study found that, of european-american (i.e. white), latino and asian high school students in los angeles, latinos feel the most strongly that they have meaning in life, followed by asians and then white kids. and asian teens are the ones most in search of a meaning to their lives, while latinos and white kids don’t bother so much.

the latino kids presumably don’t bother looking for a meaning to their lives ’cause they already got one. but, the white kids don’t really have much meaning in their lives AND they ain’t lookin’ for it, either. slackers.

you’ll never guess it, but one of the things that gives teens (and prolly adults, too) LOTS of meaning to their lives is ethnic identiy, i.e. how close they feel to their ethnic group:

“[P]resence of meaning was significantly correlated with both dimensions of ethnic identity such that those who felt more positively about their ethnic group and those who reported greater ethnic exploration reported higher levels of meaning. Notably, ethnic identity was not significantly associated with search for meaning…. [E]thnic belonging was significantly associated with all indicators of adjustment. Associations were in expected directions such that a stronger sense of connectedness and affiliation with one’s ethnic group was related to higher self-esteem, higher attitudes toward the utility and value of education, higher intrinsic motivation, higher average levels of daily happiness, and lower daily distress.”

to repeat: a stronger sense of connectedness and affiliation with one’s ethnic group was related to higher self-esteem, higher attitudes toward the utility and value of education, higher intrinsic motivation, higher average levels of daily happiness, and lower daily distress.

but, of course, white folks ain’t ‘sposed to identify with their group anymore. gee — i wonder why white teens don’t really feel that they have any meaning to their lives? — and aren’t even bothering to look for any meaning!

“Although prior work has consistently documented positive links between ethnic identity and adjustment, it has yet to be entirely clear why ethnic identity has such a beneficial effect. Indeed, an important task for contemporary research is to identify the precise mechanisms by which ethnic identity has such a positive impact on development.”

yup! it’s just a COMPLETE and utter mystery why feeling close to one’s extended family would make a person feel good about life. strange, that!


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