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Acculturation and value change : Chinese immigrant women Lee, Christina Chau-Ping


This dissertation examines the personal value systems of Chinese- women immigrants in the process of adjusting to Canadian culture. Using a variant of Kelly's (1955) Repertory grid methodology, fifteen Hong Kong immigrants to Vancouver, British Columbia provided six individual conflict situations. For each situation, two options were elicited which defined the conflict, resulting in twelve options for each person. A personal value construct (bipolar concept such as loyal/disloyal) was elicited from each option by asking for the major value in its favor. Using a 7-point scale, subjects then rated their individual options on their twelve individual value constructs. They also rated their options on six supplied constructs concerning cultural identity, personal identity and emotionality. A Principal Component analysis was conducted on each grid separately, including only the twelve elicited constructs. The constructs loading highest on the first principal component were assessed for a common core of meaning and given a superordinate theme which reflected this meaning. The second principal component was treated in the same fashion. In the second interview, each subject re-rated the situational options on the first, and the second superordinate themes, and was also asked to comment on the validity of the themes and the way constructs were grouped. Option scores on the first and the second components were then correlated with option ratings on the supplied constructs and on the superordinate themes. The results suggest that both the first and the second components are psychologically meaningful. Aside from a tendency for Chinese and Western identity to conflict on the first component, the findings suggest no orderly group portrait of construct organization within the process of acculturation. Individual case studies indicate pervasive value conflict in ordinary situations, with six reasonably distinct strategies of managing conflict, inferable from the organization of constructs. They are: (a) a reaction against Chinese identity, (b) a realignment with peripheral values, (c) the cultivation of a core personal identity, (d) compartmentalization, (e) an affirmation of Chinese identity, and (f) position expansion against Chinese identity.

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