Questioning Ethnic Identity: Interviewer Effects in Research About Immigrants' Self-Definition and Feelings of Belonging

Marianne van Bochove*, Jack Burgers, Amber Geurts, Willem de Koster, Jeroen van der Waal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Although studies on ethnicity-of-interviewer effects demonstrate that the interviewer's ethnic background influences respondents' answers, they often do not take the multifaceted nature and context-dependency of ethnic identifications into account. We aim to contribute to the literature in two respects. First, we discern two aspects of ethnic identificationdefining oneself as being ethnic and expressing feelings of belonging to ethnic groupsof which the latter is expected to be more sensitive to interviewer effects. Second, we compare three, instead of two, interview situationsbeing interviewed by (a) a majority member, (b) a co-ethnic, and (c) a non-co-ethnic minority memberas to empirically scrutinize the scope of interviewer effects while disentangling whether they are cross-ethnically accommodating (respondents stress their similarities with the non-co-ethnic interviewer) or ethnically affirming (respondents emphasize their own ethnic identity). Our hypotheses are tested on a sample of 225 Surinamese, Turkish, and Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands. As expected, no interviewer effects occur regarding being ethnic. Regarding feeling ethnic, however, respondents' identifications in the interviewer situation with a majority member vis-a-vis those in both other situations reveal an accommodating interviewer effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)652-666
Number of pages15
JournalJOURNAL OF CROSS-CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • ethnic identity
  • cross-ethnic accommodation
  • ethnic affirmation
  • intergroup relations
  • interviewer effects
  • MINORITY-GROUP MEMBERS
  • CHINESE BILINGUALS
  • RACE
  • NETHERLANDS
  • AFFIRMATION
  • DISCOURSES
  • AMERICANS
  • MIGRANTS
  • THREAT
  • MODELS

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