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: Sociometry, Vol. 29, No. 4, An Issue on Cross-Cultural Studies (Dec., 1966), pp. 428-440 Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786297 . Accessed: 28/11/2011 03:50
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Social Change and the Validity of Regional Stereotypesin East Pakistan*
HOWARD SCHUMAN of University Michigan This investigation combines two approaches usuallypursuedseparately:the studyof stereotypes thestudyof nationalcharacter. and Usingsurvey interviewdata on ethnic groupsunderthe impactof social change, attempt an is made to validatetwo popularstereotypes, learnwhereand whytheyfall to short accuracy, of and to use thestereotypes a heuristic as deviceforgaining insight into changesin ethnic character. thata stereotype "a fixed is On theassumption whichconforms impression to and our defining verylittleto the factsit pretends represent resultsfrom first observing and second,"little attention beenpaid in social psychology has to investigating validityof popular beliefsabout national character.' the towardillustrating content of Practically research all has been directed the of to and the common nationalsterotypes indicating connection stereotyping on (other) measuresof prejudice.The focushas been almostentirely the subject,almostneveron the object.
* The writeris indebted for advice and encouragement Alex Inkeles. This research to was part of a comparativeproject on Socio-culturalAspects of Development directedby Professor Inkeles and carried out within the program of the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. 1 The quoted definition from Daniel Katz and Kenneth W. Braly, "Verbal Stereois Basic Studies typesand Racial Prejudice,"in Harold Proshanskyand Bernard Seidenberg, New York: Holt, Rinehart,and Winston,1965, pp. 266-272. For a in Social Psychology, of see criticalreviewof definitions the term"stereotype," Joshua A. Fishman,"An ExamiJournal of Social Psychology, nation of the Process and Function of Social Stereotyping," 43 (February, 1956), pp. 27-64. A briefbut excellentdiscussionalso occurs in S. E. Asch, Social Psychology, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1952, pp. 231-238. A numberof seriousanalyses of national characterprobably start frompopular beliefs, has come to stand for nearlyall that is deficient in but the fact that "the termstereotype popular thinking" (Asch, op. cit., p. 232) makes authors understandablyreluctant to work on "Nationality and acknowledge the debt. Thus Stanley Milgram's experimental 205 American, (December, 1961), pp. 45-51, begins by contrasting Conformity," Scientific but does not discuss the fact that studies of national character, with scientific stereotypes of with conformity French and Norwegian studentsis consistent the reporteddifferential widely held stereotypes. 428
VALIDITY OF STEREOTYPES
The presentstudy takes a different tack. We will define"stereotypes" simply popularbeliefsabout nationalcharacter, as withno fixedassumption as to their validity. be sure,stereotypes usuallyheld in an uncritical To are fashion, withlittleor no concern the distribution the traitsdescribed.2 for of It is highly unlikely thattheycan be valid in any literal sense.But we should not assumewithout investigation that theylack validityby the moreusual scientific criteriafor describing statistically reliable and important group differences. withthisdefinition, first our aim is to confront Starting popularpropositionswithrelevant data about the groupsstereotyped. the present In study, in thepopularbeliefs thoseheld by a sampleof university are students East in Pakistan about regionaldifferences character withintheirown country. The data relevant validity to comefrom survey theattitudes a of and values of 1001 East Pakistanipeasantsand urbanlaborers, mostof whomare men of the specific regions underconsideration. not Direct comparison the stereotypes of withthe data will presumably is produce uniformly validating results. Our secondaim, therefore, to suggest of severalhypotheses thatmay help in understanding rise or persistence the in describwhentheylack validity the simplesenseof accurately stereotypes ing group character. Again the focus is not mainlyon the intra-psychic social situation processesof the stereotyper, ratheron the changing but of whichthe stereotyped groupsare a part. REGIONALSTEREOTYPES IN EAST PAKISTAN these populations of from 1.5 to 7 million. To the non-Pakistani observer, The Provinceof East Pakistan is dividedinto seventeen Districtswith
as units.To mostEast Districtsappear important primarily administrative distinct and a man tends Pakistanis,however, theyalso represent regions, in of to identify be identified terms theDistrict "belongs and he to"-meaning askedhowtheywouldrespond For theone from which originates. example, he the to if requested name their"country," majority (66%) of our sampleof and rather thanof cultivators urbanworkers gave thenameof their District,
2 The usualmethod formeasuring in stereotypes-a method repeated thisstudy-forces peopleto answer all or nothing in terms. Without evidence qualifications might on that it to of be introduced theopportunity were available, is difficult judgethedegree sophisticationwithwhichsuchbeliefs held. are 3 East Pakistan had a totalpopulation 1961of 50.8million, in it making larger thanall Bulletin Population but ten nationsof the world (cf.,Final Tables of Population, 2, of Censusof Pakistan,1961,Karachi: Ministry Home Affairs, 24; and Bruce M. p. New Haven: Yale et Russett, al., WorldHandbookof Politicaland Social Indicators, University Press, 1964, 18-21). pp.
Pakistanor East Pakistan.4 Froma theoretical standpoint, Districts the can usefully regarded "ethnic be as groups"in thegeneric senseof "peoplehood," similarin nature (thoughless sharplyand deeply defined)to nationality groupsin theWest and to manyof the so-calledtribalgroupsin Africa.5 The peopleof each Districtare, not surprisingly, thought as distinctive of in character behavior. and This is clearest from remarks made in casual conversation, references appear occasionally publisheddescriptions. but also in For example, 1961 Censusof Pakistandescribes the menof NoakhaliDistrict as "highly enterprising, adventurous, resourceful plenty driveand and of with Suchwritten of to accounts maybe expected, course, omitor rephrase popular characterizations are negative connotation. in that Drawingin part on theseinformally obtainedstereotypes in part on and the list developedby Katz and Braly, the author constructed "Word a in Description and administered to all students fourcollegeit Inventory" level classesin Dacca, the capital and educational centerof East Pakistan.7 The students were asked to choose from list of fifty a adjectives"the four whichseem to you best to describethe people belonging each" of twelve to is Districtsof the Province.8 The finalsmall sample of 89 students not a
4 The Bengali to culturally geoand wordfor"country," dish,can refer areas defined in but not graphically, well as politically. use is determined part by context, as Its "Pakistan" strongly is associated with entirely.Holdingsetting constant, response the in institute Dacca in education; thus, supplementary a sample 210 students a technical of to by Pakistan, although almost unanimously (95%) responded thesamequestion naming to that homeDistrict. It in terms context of theymight have been expected mention response given workers cultivators by and should addedthatthepredominant be District of but doesnotindicate of nation, rather salience them the to ignorance theidentity their oftheir District. 5This broad use of "ethnic that of M. M. Gordon, Assimilation in group"follows Press,1964,Chapter See also Clifford 2. American Life,New York: Oxford University Old for and Geertz, Societies New States,Glencoe:The Free Press,1963,pp. 104-157, a the ethnic replaced "primoris by treatment region an ethnic of as category, though term dialattachment." 1961,Karachi: 6DistrictCensusReport: Noakhali, PopulationCensusof Pakistan, Ministry HomeAffairs, 1-18. of pp. 7 See Katz and Braly,op. cit. Therewere95 students the original in sample, but six of and from calculaall completed thantwo-thirds theinventory have beendropped less For the89 students a tions. remaining,totalof 12 X 4 X 89 = 4272wordswouldbe ex50 so The pected. Actually spaceswereleftblank, thatwe have a totalof 4,222words. university units (commerce, law, fourcollegeclasseswere chosenfromfourdifferent in couldbe obtained.. and psychology, socialwelfare) whichcooperation 8 Onlytwelve of theseventeen Districts on wereincluded thelistin order to possible Districts werefournorthwestern known NorthBengal, shorten task.Excluded the as as tribal Hill These Districts of are well as the predominantly Chittagong TractsDistrict. the of from standpoint industrialization, was themajorconwhich marginal importance of is cernof thelarger project whichthisstudy a part.
initiativeand . . . ready to work anywhere at any time for a decent wage." 6
VALIDITY OF STEREOTYPES
and less so of othersocial of randomrepresentation all college students, fit of measure stereotypes closelythe usingthisformal But theresults groups. to sources,and it seems legitimate manyinformal gained from impressions popular purposeof testing for drawon the mostsalientfindings the specific in differences character. aboutDistrict hypotheses fact: in the is by Use of the word descriptions complicated one further we whosestereotypes have obtained someof thestudents case ofeach District, of fromthat District.It seemed likely that perceptions a are themselves of from by perceptions members would differ Districtby its own members and four To Districts. testthissupposition, judges (two Americans two other adjectivesinto those having a divided the fifty Pakistanis) independently trait an (e.g., "honest"),thosesuggesting unfavorable connotation laudatory ("quiet"). or neutralin implication and thoseambiguous ("cold-hearted"), and the 14 amongthejudges on 36 words, agreement Therewas unanimous category. wereput intothe ambiguous occurred on whichsomedisagreement and neutralwordswere unfavorable, withwhichfavorable, The frequency was then ownDistrictand to otherDistricts to appliedby thestudents their calculated. the336 adjectivesused forownDistrict, Of 68% werefavorable, and the rest ambiguous;of the 3,696 wordschosenfor 14% unfavorable, and the remainder otherDistricts,50% were favorable, 28% unfavorable, in tendto view theirown region a moreposiThus the students ambiguous. hardlyunique to phenomenon an tive lightthanotherregions, ethnocentric analysiswill includejudgments further Pakistan.For this reason,however, not onlyabout otherDistricts, about his own. made by an individual student chosen at least25% ofthecollege by the Table 1 presents adjectives data sample for the fourDistrictsabout whichwe have surveyinterview but is The 25% threshold arbitrary, it assuresthata to relevant validation. enoughto strongly considerable portionof the sampleholds the stereotype each word the To makeit one of fourchoicesout of fifty. complete picture,
TABLE 1 Adjectives Applied by Pakistani Students to Four Districts (in Percent)
Noakhali (N=85) pious shrewd money-loving hard-working (brave (intelligent (quarrelsome (aggressive (hot-tempered 33 31 28 28 19) 16) 10) 8) 8) Comilla (N=76) intelligent (money-loving (hard-working (shrewd (quarrelsome (brave (pious (hot-tempered (aggressive 25 16) 13) 10) 9) 8) 6) 5) 4) Barisal (N=81) brave aggressive quarrelsome hot-tempered (hard-working (money-loving (intelligent (pious (shrewd 48 42 30 25 21) 10) 7) 6) 6) (N=69) Mymensingh aggressive (quarrelsome (brave (intelligent (money-loving (shrewd (hot-tempered (hard-working (pious 28 20) 17) 11) 11) 11) 9) 6) 4)
for for the 25% criterion one Districtare shownin parentheses otherDistrictsto NOTE: Wordsmeeting allow comparison(see text). The District base N's vary because studentsfroma given District are to excludedin calculatingthe percentages adjectivesattributed theirDistrict. for
above the 25% requirement one Districtis shownin parentheses for with percentages theotherthreeDistricts well. for as The people of the fourdistricts clearlydiffer how theyare perceived. in One wouldhardlyconfuse imagined an man of Barisal (aggressive and hottempered)withan imagined man of Noakhali (pious but also shrewdand especiallyconcerned withmoney).Whether Districtsalso differ any the to in extent fact-in modal behavioror personality-isa quite different question.Certainly someof the imagery exaggerated, indicated the sysis as by tematic difference between perceptions "own District"and of "otherDisof tricts"reported above. But the stereotypes may also in part be genuine attempts represent to socialreality. thesections In thatfollow, willexplore we in twoof thesestereotypes an effort evaluatetheir to accuracyand to understand the reasonsforinaccuracy.
SOURCE OF VALIDATION DATA
The "validation"data come from largerinterview a studyconcerned with the effects industrial of on experience men fromtraditional backgrounds. of randomsample of Part of the East Pakistansampleconsists a stratified 510 urbanindustrial of workers ruralorigin. a baselinegroup,however, As closelycomparable samplesof cultivators were drawnby quota methods in ruralareas from had specific whichthefactory workers originally come.Since most migrant factory workersoriginatefromjust threeof the seventeen Districts-Noakhali,Comilla,and Barisal,in that orderof importance-we obtainedfrom similarto thesethreeDistrictssamplesof "pure" cultivators in the factory workers age (18 to 32), education(0-8), and certainother minorbackground factors. addition,a fourth In cultivator sample was denotablefornot condrawnfrom otherDistrict(Mymensingh) one liberately Thus we have cultivator to the tributing theurbanworkforce. samplesfrom resultshave alreadybeen presented.9 fourDistrictsabout whichstereotype increase comparability the theirdisTo further amongthesefoursamples, on a four scale of literacy, tributions have been carefully with equated point from certainDistrict-literacy withdrawn in combinations 19 cases randomly in terms this finalDistrict of orderto makethefour samplesalmostidentical indexof generaleducational and social background.'0 important
9 Actually our cultivator not but of samplesare representative of whole Districts should yield smallerbetweenDistrictsub-units (thanas). This methodof selection wouldoccur totalDistricts if District differences presumably wererandomly than sampled, of areas bring finalsamples the and the nature the target sinceboththe quota method in characteristics. close together important background 10The literacy which was partoftheregular classifies person each test, interview, along to Its a fourpointscale from complete illiteracy fluent reading ability. retest reliability
VALIDITY OF STEREOTYPES
sub-groups samplereferred above breaksinto twostrategic to The factory defined menwithless as New Workers, experience: in terms rural-urban of Workers, and Experienced contact, of than threemonths urbanand factory life. to yearsofurbanand factory In all cases,themen menwiththree twelve Both indusyearslivingin ruralsettings. first fifteen had spentat least their groups, and thedistribubeendividedintoDistrict trialsampleshave further For the as tionsof theseequated forliteracy was done forthe cultivators. Noakhaliand Comillaare frequent sample, onlymenfrom smallNew Worker Workers, Noakhali,Comilla, For separately. Experienced enough be treated to here. All to in numbers be examined and Barisal are represented sufficient New equated samplesof Cultivators, latertablesare based on thesespecially FactoryWorkers." and Experienced FactoryWorkers,
FINDINGS ON DISTRICT CHARACTER
in Not all of the stereotypes presented Table 1 can be evaluatedby the constellation adjectivesfor of the data availableto us. In particular, striking responses. Indeed,someof by untestable our interview Barisal is essentially are to the qualitiesattributed Barisal men,"bravery"forexample, probably methods. There are two stereointerview at not measurable all by ordinary that our data are relevant typesthat we can explorewithsome confidence the of qualitiesto and appropriate: attribution bothpious and money-loving the peopleof Noakhali. In bothinstances will draw on surveyinterview we from the 1961 Census of Pakistanwill data, and in the second,information also be used. the samplecharacterize peopleof Noakhali of Piety.One third thestudent comparisons, as "pious." This assertion readily testedby inter-District can be is sincenoneof theother three by Districts so described morethan6%oof the included a large numberof questions students.Moreover,our interview and religious performances values that the to directly relevant the extrinsic particularly since it is conjoinedfor Noakhali with other image suggests, moreinwardor mystical concerns. adjectivesthatseemto eliminate
over one month or more is estimatedat rho=.94 (based on 17 cases). It correlates.86 education (N=1001), and thus for practical purposes indicates that with self-reported the Districtsamples are closelyequated for school years completedas well as for literacy. are age Since only men 18 to 32 years of age were interviewed, differences also very small. and reliable measure of economic status per se could be obtained, No fullysatisfactory but interviewers' impressions and the literacyand educational controlssuggestthat Disare trictdifferences slight. 11The analysis to be presenteduses only part of the total Pakistan sample surveyed (N=1001). Some groups were interviewedwhich are not relevantto this analysis: e.g., membersof a rural cooperative organization,town-bornmen, etc.
that in have beenexamined lightof thehypothesis NoakTwelvequestions thanmen acts and attitudes of valuation religious greater hali menwillreport in are The questions conceptualized Table 2 in threesets, of otherDistricts. performance" also as a total index.Under "religious and can be considered Muslim. requiredof an ordinary observances are includedthreeimportant choice begroups"consistsof fourquestionsrequiring "Religiousreference The or religiousas against secular interests authorities. tweentraditional
(in AmongCultivators Per Cent) by Differences District Religious
Measure Performance Religious daily prayers five Report weekly in prayers congregation one Report or more Ramadan previous during fasting Reportfullmonth Groups Reference Religious leadersat leastoncea week religious Consult than to weight adviceofreligious Givemore leaders government sources over4 other leaders from Trustinformation religious thansecularnews morein religious Interested Values Religious secularaction) as most Choose"God's help" (as against for important Pakistan'sfuture education oversecularcontent children's for Choosereligious be Say a mancannot a goodmanwhois notreligious alone (not medicine)neededto cureillness Say prayer accidents due to God'swill are Say automobile of Mean scoreon index piety from t fordifference Noakhali d.f.
Noakhali Comilla (N=38) (N=46) 87 98 63 39 44 30 57 74 80 78 83 95 26.6 -
B arisal (N=23) 48 43 65 26 44 22 57 78 65 61 70 90 24.2 2.92 67
Mymensingh (N=51) 43 66 90 20 37 18 47 75 77 69 77 90 24.8 2. 56 95
68 84 84 26 32 18 53 73 63 61 66 89 25.2 2.15 84
to the perspecreligious itemsconcern extent whichtraditional fiveremaining of a tivesdominate man's interpretation events.'2 and resultsare shownin Table 2 for The specificresponsepredictions and forExperienced and Cultivators, in Table 3 forNew FactoryWorkers a Workers. Separateanalysisby occupation, part of the designfrom Factory on experience of into the effects urbanindustrial allowsan inquiry the start, samplesare equated Note thatwhileDistrict in differences character. regional in of direct comparison theseveralgroups Tables within groups, occupational groupsdiffer sincethe occupational is 2 and 3 withone another not possible, in age and literacy. in of responses Table 2 withthoseof the Comparison Noakhali Cultivator
A completecopy of the questions used can be obtained fromthe author.
VALIDITY OF STEREOTYPES
mostoften three indicates thattheformer other Districts givethetraditionally even on one pious answerto ten of the twelvequestions, approximately are The questions have also been scoredto and thereis one reversal.'3 question, index of piety,and this shows a significant difference construct 12-item a three between Districts.'4 data Noakhaliand each of theother The stereotype did not lead to a prediction differences of among the otherthreeDistricts differences and themselves, in factnone of the otherinter-District approach These resultsstrongly about significance. supportthe studentexpectations religious variationby District. in Given an initialDistrictdifference reported piety among Cultivators, workers who come originally what shall we expectof urban factory (after thesesame ruralareas? Thereare severalpossibilities. may We age 15) from differences simplyfind that inter-District persist unchanged.This would has effects no occurif urbanindustrial experience uniform (including effect) all so the on thepietyof menfrom Districts, thatwhatever changein levelof pietytherelative differences remain. the otherextreme, might findno At we eitherof our factory workersamples.This differences Districtamong by recruitment terms in could resultfromeitherof two processes:differential toward common a or of piety, rapidsocialization standard. third A possibility to as New Factory Workers showthesamedifference Cultivators, wouldbe for This would tend but forExperienced FactoryWorkersto be homogeneous. recruitment an explanation, support interas and to eliminate differential an in of pretation terms long-term socialization. (Logicallyone otherpossibility be Workers exists-that New Workers alike and Experienced different-but social psychological thiswouldnot fiteasilyany general model.) The data in Table 3 allow us to reject the studentstereotype the for the Workers all Experienced FactoryWorkers. Although urbanExperienced of livedin theirDistricts originforat least theirfirst fifteen years,theydo in The stereotype not showdifferences pietyalong Districtlines at present.
13 The reversal fasting on during Ramadan, which theoretically important is an indication of piety,remains Some informants puzzling. suggest-andthereis some indirect evidence oursurvey-that in Ramadanhas cometo assumethe supporting fasting during Muslims celebration Christmas in theWest:a brief sameroleamong thatenergetic of has in holiday thatis highly specialized significance often seennot so muchas a natural and as continuation pietybut rather a way of making forits lack overtherestof the of up year. 14 Each response of was scored3 if in the direction self-reported (as shownin piety Table 2), 1 if in the opposite and Thesescores direction, 2 if omitted. weresummed for for each respondent, the totalsaveraged each District and sample.Standard significance District meansare not strictly testsbetween appropriate becausethe samples have been suchtestsprobably and equatedforliteracy education; underestimate significance. Conacrosssamples and items a less sistency provides moretrustworthy, though quantitative meansof evaluating reliability results. the of
by Summary of Religious Differences District Among Factory Workers
New Workers ExperiencedWorkers Noakhali (N=152) Comilla (N=88) B arisal (N=40) Noakhali (N=26) 25.2
Comilla (N=25) 24.5
Mean scoreon index ofpiety t fordifference Noakhali from
24.2 0.13 n.s.
in homeDistricts(Table holds formenwho have remained theirtraditional but not formenwho as youngadultsmigrated the cityand have lived to 2) Workers, Table 3). thereforan averageof six to sevenyears (Experienced of from The data do not allow,however, clear separation self-selection for in of The socialization accounting thisdisappearance Districtdifferences. for continue showa trendforNoakhali mento be highon the to New Workers representaindexofpietyrelative theone District(Comilla) withsufficient to But does partly tionforcomparison. thedifference not approachsignificance, thesamplesare smallbut partlyalso because the difference between because To larger) than for Cultivators. means is less (and the variancesslightly as one self-selection a possibility, wouldhave to assumethatpartof eliminate of to the socialization new standards pietyoccurssoon aftera man's move that to thecity; or perhapsmorerealistically theprocessis less one of socialand izationin the sense of internalization morea matterof rapid shiftin attitudeand behaviorin responseto new norms. An alternative hypothesis wouldbe thatthe Noakhali menwho chooseto homeDistrict alreadylesspiousin orientation are thantheaverage leave their decisionto and fortheir in, of, cohort, thatthisis a factor or a correlate their does not fitlocal assumptions about move to the city.Such an explanation in on pressures men to migration East Pakistan,whichstressthe economic workers themselves also are move simplyin orderto survive.The factory when asked, "Why almostunanimous(97%) in citingeconomic pressures work?" Only threefactory did you leave your villageand take up factory from workers gave a morepositiveexplanation (e.g., Noakhali,forexample, "to learn new skills"). But such subjectiveanswerscannot be taken as in as definitive, willbe suggested thenextsection. recruitment from it experience factors, Lackinga clear way to distinguish in is safestto assumethatbothplay a rolein the changereflected Tables 2 less conservative religious in oriand 3. Men leavingNoakhaliare probably than theirpeers,and once in the city theyrespondto normsthat entation
VALIDITY OF STEREOTYPES
encourage stillmorerelaxation. the "deviant"groupin piety,the NoakAs hali men would be mostlikelyto changein an urbanworksituation where trans-ethnic normscometo prevail.15 of Materialistic Self-Interest. Alongwiththe stereotype Noakhali men as unusually pious goes the quite different pictureof theirbeingmoney-loving The characterization not unique: although is seldomappliedby and shrewd. a student his own District(thereare onlyfivesuch instances),"moneyto loving"has the highestfrequency all 50 adjectivesin its applicationto of a otherDistricts. Perhapsin part thissimply signalsthe slightdistrust man he of one Districthas towardthe treatment can expectshouldhis journeys take him to an alien region.Despite such a generalexplanation, however, in there stillsubstantial is variation use of the term-it is appliedtwoand a to halftimesas frequently Noakhalias to Barisal-and even morevariation in application the relatedword"shrewd."Again,popularbeliefsdeserve of to be studied. the pursuitof moneywas not originally a Unlike the area of religion, and of theme ourinterview. by reinterpreting gathering But together questions fromvarioussectionsof the interview have triedto obtain a common we the hypothesis materialistic of Table 4 presents factorfor testing concern. on for be Districtcomparisons cultivators ten questionsthat can reasonably in interpreted offering as materialistic choices.When theseare summarized in is there a trend Noakhalicultivaindexform, each possiblecomparison for but torsto be higher, noneof the differences approachsignificance. Analysis of varianceforthefour groupsalso failsto showa significant from departure thatNoakhalicultivators more is evidence are chance.Thus there littledirect nor than othercultivators, evidencethat any otherDistrictis mercenary in distinctive this trait. that the student Yet reconsideration suggests beliefsabout Noakhali may the be more complexthan allowed for by investigating simple desire for money."Money-loving" accompaniesthreeotherfrequently selectedadjectives: shrewd, hard-working, pious. What may be involvedhere,as in Max of is Weber's characterization early Protestant capitalists, not so much a towardprofit-making mercenary trait,but rathera propensity activityor toward"getting ahead." The data in Table 4 offer perhapsmoregenerally The some supportfor such a reinterpretation. result that most sharply is the of contradicts original prediction thegreater preference Noakhali men
15 Other explanations are of course possible. There may, for example,be a selectionout of the labor force of more pious Noakhali men after some months or years. This does not seem likely,since informalinterviewswith 45 factorymanagers indicate almost no withinthe presentage range once initial hiringis completed.But such alternaturn-over be tive explanationscannot completely ruled out on the basis of available data.
in Differences Concern for Money Among Cultivators(in Per Cent)
Item Noakhali (N=46) Comilla (N=38) Barisal (N=23) Mymensingh (N=51)
any dutyto givemoneyto 1. Disclaiming a needybut distantrelative 2. Naming"highpay" as mostimportant of attribute a job a 3. Wanting radio "verymuch"whenasked to 4. Willing moveto WestPakistan earnings fordoublepresent machinejob at 200 rupees 5. Preferring to clerk'sjob at 150 rupees successas main material 6. Mentioning of benefit education two or moreitemswhen 7. Mentioning theywould asked what things liketo own itemto own expensive 8. Mentioning itemto own a 9. Mentioning money-making 10. Claimingmoneymostimportant forsuccess Mean scoreon indexofmoney-loving fromNoakhali t fordifference d.f.
33 22 78 54 35 28 30 58 53 24 22.2
45 5 55 40 55 29 26 50 46 40 21.2 1.13
26 0 57 35 78 17 13 65 47 30 20.9 1.35
47 8 67 35 61 24 28 42 45 33 21.5 0.75
for whitecollar workover a higherpaying manual job (for item #5 in x2=10.10, 2d.f.,p<.002). In this others, Table 4, Noakhali vs. combined and are incomes fixed, Noakhalimenmorefrequently thehypothetical question for withgreater opportunity moneyin orderto choosea position pass over in are there three questions Table 4 (items hand, On advancement. theother in expecteddirection 2, 3, and 4) thatare each significantly the originally in others each case) but forNoakhali vs. combined (X2>4.0, 2 d.f.,p<.05 To of othermethods advancement. evaluate gains to none opposesmaterial not includedin the Table 4 an further, open question this reinterpretation test became relevant:when asked "what is the best line of work" a man Naokhalimenmoreoftenthanthe comhis shouldencourage son to follow, of bined otherDistrictschose some form businessover otherequally presp<.001). (X2=14.36,2 d.f., occupations tigious because of theirpost factumcharacter, subjectto qualification Although of interpretation the Noakhalistereotype a support broadened thesefindings as havingsome validityforruralareas. It is not the simpleimage of merisolatedadjectives one that combines cenaryqualities,but a morecomplex not into a pictureof ethnicdifferences unlikesome foundin the United
VALIDITY OF STEREOTYPES
evidencethat the But as in the case of piety,thereis no consistent States.16 conpopulations discovered amongthe moretraditional Districtdifferences Neitherin the small New Worker tinue to occur amongurban workers.17 Worker sample,do the questionsdissample,nor in the largerExperienced by differences Districtin any or cussed above show significant consistent the of From the standpoint a theoryof stereotypes, data again direction. or changesthe composition processsomehow suggestthat the urbanization ethnic so groups as to makepopularcharacterizations character traditional of as clearevidence do But thedata unfortunately not provide quiteinaccurate. occurs. to howtheprocess DISCUSSION by Stereotypes regarded personsholdingthemas seriouspropositions are as theyare oftentreated however, In about social reality. social psychology, with whatevervaliditythey possess being more or less largelyfictional, as The studybeganwitha viewof stereotypes hypothadventitious. present and thus subject to test like any otherhyeses about national character stereohow to Our aim was not primarily determine trueparticular potheses. It containsome truth. was ratherto explore typesare, or what proportion are whichstereotypes valid,and to use stereotypes under thesocial conditions underconditions in turnas starting pointsforthestudyof ethnicdifferences ofchange.
some indirect evidence for Noakhali'sdistinctiveness its heavy outin migration rate,documented Mohammed in "Internal Migration East in Hafiz Sheikh, Pakistan During Decade 1951-1961," the Proceedings thePakistan of Statistical Association, Lahore, 1963, 165-172. pp. Muchofthis migration intofactory is work, first as found in A. F. A. Husainand A. Farouk, Social Integration Industrial of Workers Khulna, in University Dacca, 1963, 110.In ourinitial of p. screening sample an average 50 men of of randomly selected from each of 46 factories, Noakhaliworkers ranked highest reprein sentation constituting of thetotalalthough 24% Noakhali District in 1961only4.6% had of thetotalEast Pakistan population. (Final TablesofPopulation, Bulletin Population 2, Censusof Pakistan, 1961,op. cit.) This overrepresentation be explained cannot entirely District nearly Comilla has by simple demographic locational and factors: twice poputhe lation(4.4 million Noakhali's million), to 2.4 greater density (1,794to 1,447per square in mile),and as goodaccessto industrial cities, its representationour factory yet sample is only15%. is of that Noakhali's attributed a pattern settlement to highout-migrationsometimes of leadsto frequent flooding marginal cultivators, forcing them seekemployment to elsewhere. are or Whether there also psychological of components consequences thismigration is to but to differences relevant thestudent stereotypesnotknown, ourfailure find among not. factory workers suggests Theirintensive search workin other for Districts, however, the of and may support perception Noakhalimenas "hard-working" "money-loving." Interviews withfactory managers thatin manycases theysharedthe student revealed of stereotype Noakhalimenas hard-working.
17 There is
16Cf.,Gerhard Lenski, The Religious 1961. Factor, Garden City:Doubleday,
appear to have somevalidity in In the twoexamples reported, stereotypes ruralpopulations. The fact that statistical terms whenapplied to traditional the validityis clearerfor"piety" than for the "money-loving" description The former typeof behavioris takenalone may be due to severalfactors. and its interpretation removed less perhapseasierto observethanthelatter, from "data" accessibleto the layman.It is also a morepositivecharacthe are terization, and it can be hypothesized that positivestereotypes on the wholemoreaccuratethannegative ones. As shownearlier, thereis a general at tendency describe to otherethnicgroupsin negativeterms, least relative consistent to one's own group,a finding with the mutual suspicionoften foundbetweenethnicgroups.With this initialnegativebias operating, a favorable stronger evidence thanan unfavorable stereotype probably requires onebefore winning wideacceptance. in the and The validity stereotypes characterizing moretraditional stable of to ruralpopulation lost whenthe focusshifts menwho have movedfrom is such areas to the risingurban industrial centers.Although men continue in terms their of Districts origin, data fail to uncover of our to be perceived of lines.Patterns self-selection predicted differences amongthem alongDistrict in or or the changesoccurring the new environment morelikelysome comin of distinctions ethnic character. bination thetwoappearto erasetraditional to that the regionaldifferences it In thisconnection, is important recognize or dealt withhereare not as sharpas thoseof color,religion, languagethat in serveas a means and markof ethnicdifferentiation manyparts of the world.The men fromNoakhali and otherDistrictsare basically alike in and if asked explicitly wouldprobably consider are all language, all Muslims, of members the same nation. Under such circumstances, is it themselves social experience and inter-communication to expectcommon to reasonable in attitudesand practicesas Province-wide standards lead to convergence norms. replace regional about the validityof also suggesttwo simplehypotheses These findings a stereotypes. First,theyare mostlikelyto be accuratewhen theyconcern littleovera longperiodof time.However groupthathas changedrelatively thatcontribute a stereotype, lattershould to the haphazardthe observations accumulateon the basis of become more accurate as these observations thatis accurate consistent experience. Second,since thepart of a stereotype should tend to be more can come only afterthe objectivefact,stereotypes Bothpropositions of history. descriptive priorthanof current phasesof ethnic the socialfactors, willno doubtbe modified other particularly development by to and of rapid communication the closenessof perceiver object. But other thingsbeing equal, stereotypes may serve most accuratelyas a collective of thanas an imageof thechanging present. memory thestablepast rather
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