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Volunteers sought for cultural identity study

4 April 2006

Young volunteers sought for cultural identity study

The experience of young migrants to New Zealand is the subject of a study on cultural identity being conducted by the Victoria University of Wellington’s Centre for Applied Research in Cross-cultural Research.

The Centre is seeking volunteers aged between 13 and 18 years to complete an anonymous online survey designed to answer questions such as, ‘Where and how do immigrants fit into our society?’, ‘How important is it for migrants to be like other Kiwis?’ and ‘How important is it for them to maintain aspects of their own cultural heritage?’

Centre Director, Professor Colleen Ward, says the study will explore a range of issues, including native language, friendship networks, family values and wellbeing.

“One of the key questions is how young migrants see themselves in terms of their original cultural heritage and how they see themselves as New Zealanders. This has implications for our evolving New Zealand identity and our multi-cultural society.”

Professor Ward says the research will also compare New Zealand perspectives with findings from 12 other countries.

“What we’re looking at here is whether there are aspects of New Zealand’s unique bi-cultural setting that distinguish it from other societies that receive migrants that affect the way migrants adapt and relate to other New Zealanders.”

Participants are sought from various ethnic communities, including Chinese, Korean, Indian, Samoan, South African, English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh. Participants will go into a draw to win an iPod.

The research has been approved by the School of Psychology Human Ethics Committee.

Young migrants interested in completing the survey should go to http://pavlov.psyc.vuw.ac.nz/ecd-survey/index.html

ENDS

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