UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Variations in the persistence of subjective culture : cross-ethnic views of characterstics of persons Selkirk, Sheena Ann


Research investigating the problems experienced and the advantages enjoyed by the minority-culture child in the North American schoolroom has focused both on changing the child and on changing the school environment. Little attention has been paid to the more basic question of differences in subjective aspects of culture across ethnic grouping and generation of residence in Canada. In addition, little appears to be known about the variability in subjective culture across levels of variables like gender, ethnic salience, or use of mother tongue. The research reported in this dissertation is a basic study of subjective aspects of the concept of "person", a concept important in virtually every society and, in addition, central to Western educational thought. The study itself was an investigation of the views of 1288 Grade 10 students in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Each subject ranked the importance of each of 21 positive qualities of a person, and listed up to three criteria for concluding that a person has each of 11 of those qualities. Substantive hypotheses about differences in students' rankings across ethnic groups and generation of residence in Canada were confirmed. The results suggested both persistence and change in views of personal qualities, which were dissimilar across ethnic groupings. Exploratory analyses revealed provocative information about the moderating relationships of strength of religious feeling, gender and a complex of variables related to ethnicity including ethnic salience, mother tongue, religious affiliation and occupational information. Examination of the students' criteria yielded useful information about the behaviors and traits related to each of the 11 qualities, and about ages and genders of people thought to have a great deal of each quality. It was concluded that the overall results may further development of theory in the area. In practical terms, they may help to guide the classroom teacher, may stimulate the development of policy and practice in the multicultural educational setting, and may be useful for curriculum development and teacher education in the Canadian context.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.