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Esta investigación maneja los conceptos de identidad nacional, auto-estereotipo y favoritismo endogrupal que son analizados en relación con la identidad nacional y el favoritismo endogrupal. Nuestra hipótesis es que cuanto más fuerte es la identificación con la propia nacionalidad, más positivos serán los auto-estereotipos atribuidos al grupo nacional: niveles altos de identificación nacional están asociados con un auto-concepto interdependiente más que dependiente. Se utilizó como instrumento la versión en castellano del European Opinión Survey (EOS) cuyas propiedades psicométricas fueron sometidas a estudio. El cuestionario se aplicó a una muestra de 263 estudiantes españoles que residían en Madrid. Los resultados apoyan la validez y fiabilidad del cuestionario EOS, aunque la escala de auto- concepto muestra algunos problemas de validez de constructo. Las dos hipótesis analizadas se confirmaron. Se observó que el modo como los españoles se representan a sí mismos ha cambiado a lo largo del tiempo, y que el rasgo "juerguistas" es el más representativo de la población española. Estos resultados se distancian de los obtenidos por Sangrador en una investigación llevada a cabo en 1996 debido a los cambios políticos y al contexto comparativo particular que pone en marcha el EOS. Los estereotipos no son estructuras rígidas, sino que se muestran en estrecha relación con el contexto en el que se insertan.
Palabras clave: Identidad social; auto-concepto; conducta colectiva.
Autostereotyping and National Identity in The Spanish Context
This research deals with the concept of self-stereotyping, which is analysed in relation to the concepts of national identity and favouritism towards the ingroup. The hypothesis is that the stronger the identification with one's nationality, the more positive will be the auto-stereotypes attributed to the national group. Furthermore, it is predicted that high levels of national identification are associated with an interdependent, rather than an independent, self-concept. We use the Spanish version of the European Opinion Survey (EOS), whose psychometric properties were tested. The questionnaire was completed by 263 Spanish students. Findings support the validity and reliability of EOS, even though the self-concept scale shows some problems concerned with construct validity. The two hypotheses tested were confirmed. In relation to auto-stereotyping, it was observed that the way in which the Spanish represent themselves has changed over a period of time, and that the trait "fun-loving" was indicated as particularly representative of the Spanish national population. These findings are quite different from those obtained by Sangrador in a study conducted in Spain in 1996, due both to the relevant political changes that have characterized Spain in the last few years, and to the particular comparative context elicited by the EOS. Stereotypes are not rigid structures, but depend on the context in which they take form.
Keywords: Social identity; self concept; group behavior.
This paper aims to explore qualities attributed to the Spanish nationality and factors predicting identification with Spanishness. National identity can be defined as a socio-psychological space of belonging, as an identification with some significant traits, and as a consciousness, more or less elaborated, of sharing a space of life (De La Torre, 1997).
Identification with one's national group implies the acquisition of beliefs, attitudes and values that are socially shared within the group and which are evaluated by both the ingroup and the outgroup. This evaluation takes place through social comparison (Tajfel, 1981a), which may occur at different levels (Brown & Heager, 1999; Hinkle & Brown, 1990); one's nation can be judged by comparing it to other nations (intergroup comparison), with reference to its past or future behaviour (temporal comparison) or with reference to socio-political prototypes of some ideal society (comparison based on abstract standards).
The adoption of a specific comparative orientation can have an influence on the relationship between ingroup evaluation and outgroup discrimination; in this way a distinction between nationalism and patriotism can be made. Nationalism, which derives from intergroup comparison, leads to the judging of one's nation as superior, and elevates it above the others. This implies behaviour patterns of discrimination and refusal (Mummendey, Klink, & Brown, 2001). Otherwise, patriotism originates from either temporal comparison or comparison based on abstract standards; it essentially remains an evaluative aspect. It expresses the need, well described by Tajfel (1981b), for belonging to a group, which can be evaluated in a positive way. Schatz and Staub (1997) propose a further distinction between blind and constructive patriotism; the former lies in supporting one's own nation every time, without considering things in a critical way; the latter represents, on the other hand, a form of loyalty, critically elaborated, towards the national group. Identification with one's nation is due to the support of two basic elements, one objective and the other subjective (Javaloy, Cornejo, & Bechini, 1990). The former is related to the possibility of sharing a place, a common historical past and a complex cultural system; the latter refers to a personal feeling of belonging to the national group. Although in psychology the subjective dimension of identification is privileged, objective factors must be considered as well; as a matter of fact, they deeply influence the concept of social identity associated with a group. In his analysis of Latin American identity, Salazar (1998) points out four key elements of national identity: territoriality, culture, ethnic background and state. Even other authors have underlined the fundamental role of these objective factors. Mlicki and Ellemers (1996) carried out a study in two European nations with very different histories, different political aspirations and a different vision of European integration: the Netherlands and Poland. They asked students in each country to identify traits supposedly typical of their nationality and to rate how positive or negative each trait was. Macroscopic differences existing between the two countries were observed in the different way in which the Dutch and the Poles identify with their own nation.
At the same time everyone is a member of many social categories, including not only the groups to which they belong in the present, but also the ones to which they have belonged or could belong in the future (Cinnirella, 1998). These categories can be either independent or mutually inclusive. The latter case is exemplified by regional, national and European identity. These three levels of abstraction can be represented as concentric circles, which include each other from the most specific to the most general (Brewer, 1991).
Nowadays we should also take into account the concept of comparative identity, which expresses the relationship between different levels of categorization. Comparative identity is the difference between identification with the region and with the nation (Huici & Ros, 1993; Huici et al., 1997; Ros, Cano, & Huici, 1987; Ros, Huici, & Gomez, 2000). More precisely, the hypothesis is that regional identity will be more salient in those subjects for whom at the same time identification is high with the region, and low with the nation. The greater salience of this category makes an attitude of favouritism towards the ingroup more probable in the context of comparison between regions. On the other hand, national identity will be more salient in those subjects who have a high level of identification with the nation and a low one with the region. In this case ingroup bias will be in favour of the …