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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparitve study between the degree of assimilation and the self image. Adams, Margaret Belle (Baxter)


This thesis investigates the relationship between the self image and the degree of assimilation in children. There are two parts to the hypothesis: firstly, there are self image characteristics which are common to members of one national group that distinguish them from members of other national groups, and secondly, these distinguishing characteristics decrease as the members of one national group become assimilated with another national group. The hypothesis was tested in the Vancouver shool system. An interviewing program was undertaken with three matched groups of school children: German immigrants, settled Canadians, and migrant Canadians. The purpose of the first two groups was to form a basis on which to compare the self images of children who were well assimilated and children who were poorly assimilated. The main function of the third group was to provide a basis on which to distinguish any self image characteristics which may be common to all children who are 'uprooted' and not only to children who immigrate to another country. If such characteristics were found they could not be regarded as distinguishing characteristics of any one national group. The self images of the Canadian and German children were found to differ in their social and institutional identification. The poorly assimilated German children identified mainly within the home and family; while the Canadian children identified within many additional institutions and people. As the German children became better assimilated their identification broadened. Therefore, a limited amount of evidence was found to support both parts of the hypothesis.

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