Cultural influences on attitudes toward aggression : a comparison between Spanish, Japanese and South African students

Beirowski, Karin (2003)

Thesis (MA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary aim of the present study was to examine whether the culture of a society influences the way in which people justify certain aggressive behaviours in certain situations. A total of 756 students from Spain, Japan and South Africa participated in completing the CAMA, a measure of justification of aggression. The results showed that there were significant differences within the countries. There were differences in the levels of acceptance of certain acts between these countries. Further fmdings also indicated that there was a difference between the males of the countries and between the females of these countries. It was found that cultural influences and the norms within these countries bring about differences in justification of aggression in different situations. There were also some general trends of acceptance, with direct and indirect verbal acts e.g. sarcasm, hindering and shouting being more acceptable than physical acts such as hitting, killing and torture. It is hoped that the present findings of this research will make members of society more aware of their responsibility to help reduce aggressive acts by teaching and reinforcing norms against it. It is also hoped that the international community will gain better insight into the fact that South-Africa faces unique challenges because of the political and social changes in the country.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die primêre doel van die huidige studie was om vas te stelof 'n samelewing se kultuur 'n rol speel by die regverdiging van sekere aggressiewe gedrag in bepaalde omstandighede. 'n Totaal van 756 studente van Spanje, Japan en Suid Afrika het die CAMA vraelys voltooi. Die vraelys meet die regverdiging van aggressie in sekere omstandighede. Betekenisvolle verskille is tussen die lande gevind. Daar is ook betekenisvolle verskille tussen die mans van die drie lande asook tussen die vrouens van die drie lande gevind. Daar is gevind dat kulturele verskille en die norme binne 'n samelewing meebring dat daar verskille is in die mate waarin samelewings sekere aggressiewe gedrag aanvaarbaar vind in sekere situasies. Daar was ook 'n groter algemene aanvaarbaarheid van verbale aggressie bv. sarkasme, verhindering en skreeu as fisiese aggressie soos slaan, om dood te maak en marteling. Hopelik maak hierdie navorsing mense meer bewus van elkeen in die samelewing se verantwoordelikheid om die norme teen geweld te versterk asook om die norme aan hulle nageslagte oor te dra. Verder sal die internasionale gemeenskap hopelik beter insig kry oor die unieke uitdagings wat Suid-Afrika bied as gevolg van die politieke en sosiale veranderinge in die land.

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