Sociopolitical Identity of Turkish Emerging Adults: The Role of Gender, Religious Sect, and Political Party Affiliation Vanessa Victoria Volpe
Acknowledgements • Faculty Mentor: Dr. Selcuk R. Sirin • Dalal Katsiaficas • Dr. Gigliana Melzi • The Spencer Foundation
Sociopolitical Identity Political Context Social Interaction Individual
Sociopolitical Identity • Sociopolitical identity: the evaluation of one's political group identity as it is experienced through social interaction (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). • Maintaining a defined sociopolitical identity is an important developmental task for emerging adults (e.g., Arnett, 2000; Flanagan & Sherrod, 1998; Schildkraut, 2005). Individual
Components of Sociopolitical Identity • A defined sociopolitical identity involves four components. • Sociopolitical identity has been linked with • civic and political engagement (Schildkraut, 2005) • the maintenance of interpersonal relationships (Neumann, 1993). (Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992)
The Risk of Social Identity Stress • Social identity stress: the social experience of being criticized for holding viewpoints of a distinct political group (Hayes, Scheufele, & Huge, 2006). • Often results in damaged personal relationships, feelings of displacement, and feeling that one's identity is not valuable (Neumann, 1993). • Might result in a lack of exploration for emerging adults, which may then lead to limiting social engagement with members of other political groups.
The Potential of Own-Group Preference • Own-group preference: limiting social and cultural engagement with members of political out-groups • Limiting engagement to in-group significantly enhances positive feeling about in-group (e.g., Brewer, 1979). • Own-group preference might buffer the impact of social identity stress on sociopolitical identity.
Current Study Rationale • Social identity stress and own-group preference have never been examined in a political context. • There is a paucity of research on how emerging adults experience and define their sociopolitical identity in political contexts. • Research on sociopolitical identity may inform future research on intergroup relations and political engagement practices.
The Case of Turkey • Turkish emerging adults represent the majority of the 75 million Turkish nationals. • Conflicting viewpoints on the nature of the political context: polarized vs. harmonious. • Three important contextual considerations: • Gender • Religious Sect • Political Party Affiliation
Research Questions • How do emerging adults in Turkey report their social identity stress, own-group preference, and sociopolitical identity? • Are there gender, religious sect, and/or political party affiliation differences on social identity stress, own-group preference, and sociopolitical identity?
Research Questions • Does own-group preference moderate the predictive relation between social identity stress and sociopolitical identity? Own-Group Preference Social Identity Stress Sociopolitical Identity
Participants • Diverse nationally representative sample of Turkish emerging adults (N=1242) • Between the ages of 18 and 28 (M=21.50, SD=2.29) • Gender: 50.6% female • Religious Sect: 65% Sunni, 11% Shafi, 9% Alevi • Political Group: • 44% CHP (Secularist) • 33% AKP (Moderate) • 15% MHP (Islamist) • 8% Other
Procedure • Data were taken from a larger national study of Turkish emerging adults (Political Identity in Conflict Study, PI: Selcuk R. Sirin) • Self-report surveys collected in over 50 locations were adapted by a multidisciplinary team of Turkish researchers to be culturally and linguistically appropriate.
Results: Sample Characteristics Note: 131 participants reported no own-group preference
Social Identity Stress by Gender t(1240) = 4.45, p < .01
Own-Group Preference by Gender t(1109) = -4.05, p < .01
Sociopolitical Identity by Gender t(1240) = -2.21, p < .05
Social Identity Stress by Religious Sect F(2,1240) = 31.91, p < .01
Own-Group Preference by Religious Sect F(2,1109) = 3.12, p < .01
Sociopolitical Identity by Religious Sect F(2,1240) = 5.79, p < .01
Social Identity Stress by Political Party F(2,1240) = 17.39, p < .01
Own-Group Preference by Political Party F(2,1109) = 7.03, p < .01
Results: Moderation Model • Contrary to the first hypothesis, own-group preference did not predict sociopolitical identity when controlling for gender, religious sect, and political party affiliation, F(4, 1240) = 2.64, p = .71. • Therefore, the role of own-group preference was not assessed, ΔR2 = 0, F(6, 1240) = 14.61, p = .51.
Discussion • The Rejection-Identification Model (Branscombe, Schmitt, & Harvey, 1999) may not be uniform for all national contexts or social identity domains. • The structure of identity as flexible and multi-dimensional (Katsiaficas, Futch, Fine, & Sirin, in press; Seider & Gardner, 2009; Sirin & Fine, 2007). • Researchers should consider the intersections of gender, religious sect, and political party affiliation in order to more fully map the sociopolitical identities of Turkish emerging adults. • Results may shed light on the co-existence of western and secular ideologies within the political landscape in Turkey and highlight a generational difference.
Thank you Questions?