Asian New Zealanders: Identity, Belonging and Political Participation
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
National identity is often defined in terms of ‘ethnic’ (i.e., heritage-based criteria) or ‘civic’ (i.e., the adoption of a nation’s values and principles) features. This study examined the effects of national identity as ethnic versus civic on the political participation of Asian New Zealanders, exploring the potentially mediating role of national belongingness. Through an online experiment, a sample of Asian New Zealanders were randomly assigned to view national identity as normatively ethnic or civic via a short video. As hypothesised, individuals displayed a significant indirect effect of civic national identity on willingness to politically participate relative to a normative ethnic national identity or those in the control condition through a greater sense of national belongingness. In contrast, there was a significant indirect effect of ethnic national identity on willingness to politically participate relative to those in the civic and control conditions through a decreased sense of national belonging. These findings demonstrate that national identity is a form of social identity which indicates to immigrant ethnic minorities that they are either included within the ingroup (civic condition) or excluded as an outgroup member (ethnic condition) and that exclusion from the national identity can have consequences for their sense of national belonging and willingness to participate in politics.
Keywords: national identity; ethnic-civic nationhood, national belongingness, political participation, Asian New Zealanders