Adress: Atlanta, GA, USA
Education and academic positions:
Academic interests: social psychology and cognition, global sociology, research methods, values and morality, social inequality and social capital.
Ethnicity and Subjective Well-being: The Moderating Effects of Value Orientations (ongoing project)
The main goal of this proposed project is to examine the ways general value orientations might be moderating the relationship between ethnicity and wellbeing. I specifically focus on agentic value orientations revolving around independent action, thought and self-expression (Inglehart, 1997; Inglehart and Welzel, 2010; Schwartz, 1992; 1994) as cognitive resources that individuals derive strength from when faced with adverse social experiences. By analyzing longitudinal data based on integrated European Values Survey/World Values Survey (1981-2008), this research will identify important social psychological factors fostering quality of life and dampening the negative effects of discrimination and stigma. Values provide cognitive maps to guide behavior; examination of behavioral changes requires articulation of the value changes of individuals. Therefore, studying values is crucial for a complete understanding of the links between individual, social-structural and cultural levels, since they operate at all of these levels (Hitlin and Piliavin, 2004). Findings from this project will have important implications for developing strategies that will help ethnic minorities embrace policies promoting well-being and health.
Coalitional affiliation as a missing link between ethnic polarization and well-being: An empirical test from the European Social Survey (completed project)
*Published in Social Science Research
Many studies converge in suggesting (a) that ethnic and racial minorities fare worse than host populations in reported well-being and objective measures of health and (b) that eth- nic/racial diversity has a negative impact on various measures of social trust and well-being, including in the host or majority population. However, there is much uncertainty about the processes that connect diversity variables with personal outcomes. In this paper, we are particularly interested in different levels of coalitional affiliation, which refers to people’s social allegiances that guide their expectations of social support, in-group strength and cohesion. We operationalize coalitional affiliation as the extent to which people rely on a homogeneous social network, and we measure it with indicators of friend- ships across ethnic boundaries and frequency of contact with friends. Using multi-level models and data from the European Social Survey (Round 1, 2002–2003) for 19 countries, we demonstrate that coalitional affiliation provides an empirically reliable, as well as theoretically coherent, explanation for various effects of ethnic/racial diversity.
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