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). 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 Membership Public Regard Importance to Identity Private Regard 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 1. How do emerging adults in Turkey report their social identity stress, own-group preference, and sociopolitical identity? 2. Are there gender, religious sect, and/or political party affiliation differences on social identity stress, owngroup preference, and sociopolitical identity? Research Questions 3. 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 Measures Construct Measure Name Modification Reliability Social Identity Societal, Attitudinal, Stress due to political Stress Familial, & Environmental identity Scale (SAFE; Hovey & King, 1996) 15 items; α = .84 Own-Group Preference Acculturation, Habits and Interests Multicultural Scale for Adolescents (AHIMSA; Unger et al., 2002) Social and cultural preference across political groups 15 items; α = .84 Sociopolitical Identity Collective Self-Esteem Scale (CSE; Luhtanen & Crocker, 1992) Emerging adults’ report on how well defined their political group identity is in social interactions 16 items; α = .76 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 N M (SD) Scale Range Social Identity Stress 1242 1.80 (.57) 1-4 Some Own-Group Preference 1111 6.59 (3.66) 1-15 Sociopolitical Identity 1242 2.87 (.47) 1-5 Note: 131 participants reported no own-group preference Social Identity Stress by Gender t(1240) = 4.45, p < .01 1.6 1.55 Mean Score 1.5 1.45 1.4 1.35 1.36 1.3 1.31 1.25 1.2 1.15 Males Females Own-Group Preference by Gender t(1109) = -4.05, p < .01 2.8 2.7 Mean Score 2.6 2.5 2.54 2.4 2.3 2.37 2.2 2.1 Males Females Sociopolitical Identity by Gender t(1240) = -2.21, p < .05 3.15 3.1 Mean Score 3.05 3 2.95 2.9 2.92 2.85 2.8 2.86 2.75 2.7 Males Females Social Identity Stress by Religious Sect F(2,1240) = 31.91, p < .01 1.8 1.6 Mean Score 1.4 1.2 1.47** 1.38** 1.32** Alevi Sunni 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 Shafi Own-Group Preference by Religious Sect F(2,1109) = 3.12, p < .01 4 3.5 Mean Score 3 2.5 2.65** 2 2.44 2.34 Sunni Shafi 1.5 1 0.5 0 Alevi Sociopolitical Identity by Religious Sect F(2,1240) = 5.79, p < .01 5 4.5 Mean Score 4 3.5 3 2.5 3.02** 2.88 2.87 Sunni Shafi 2 1.5 1 Alevi Social Identity Stress by Political Party F(2,1240) = 17.39, p < .01 1.8 1.6 Mean Score 1.4 1.2 1.28 1.37* 1.30 1 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0 CHP AKP MHP Own-Group Preference by Political Party F(2,1109) = 7.03, p < .01 3.5 3 Mean Score 2.5 2.56 2.52 2 2.29* 1.5 1 0.5 0 CHP AKP MHP 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?