Measuring political culture in multiethnic societies: Reaggregating the world values survey

  • Silver B
  • Dowley K
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Comparative studies of mass political culture based on surveys, such as the World Values Survey (WVS), typically leap to using aggregate-level statistics for the entire population. No previous analyses of the WVS have examined the value differences associated with a common source of cleavage: ethnicity. The authors test for ethnic differences on 10 democratic values in 16 WVS countries from 1990 to 1993. Ethnic differences within countries on these indicators are often far larger than the aggregate differences between countries. Of 259 paired comparisons between the majority and the minority groups within the 16 countries on the 10 indicators, by chance alone the authors should have found about 13 statistically significant differences; instead, they found 134. Thus, the differences in support for democratic values between ethnic groups within countries are far from just a random phenomenon.

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  • B. D. Silver

  • K. M. Dowley

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