Motivation for Ethnocultural Continuity

Contact: Michelle Gezentsvey Lamy, Colleen Ward, and James Liu.


This research focuses on minority groups’ motivation to keep their ethno-cultural identity. It develops an 18-item questionnaire that measures this motivation and looks at the relationship between Maori, Chinese, and Jewish participants’ motivations and their intentions to marry someone within their ethno-cultural group and their preference for dating partners.


Results of the study show:

  • The questionnaire measures motivation in the same way for the Jewish, Maori, and Chinese participants, meaning that the groups can be compared. Although this motiviation is made up of three parts, participants saw it as a single motivation.
  • All three ethnic groups were highly motivated to maintain their ethno-cultural identities. Maintaining this identity was more important for Jewish and Maori participants because of their historically margenilized status.
  • For all three groups, people who intend to marry someone of the same ethnicity are more likely to choose dating partners of the same ethnicity.
  • Jews and Maoris with high levels of motivation to maintain strong ethno-cultural identities are more likely to prefer to marry and date within their ethnicity/culture. This is not true for the Chinese.
  • The Chinese’ marriage intentions and dating selections were influenced by physcial attraction and the approval of their social networks. Social network approval also influenced Maori’s intentions and selections.

You can access the article, "Motivation for Ethnocultural Continuity" here.