Ethnic Conflict, Group Polarization, and Gender Attitudes in Croatia

Citation:

Kunovich, Robert M., and Catherine Deitelbaum. 2004. “Ethnic Conflict, Group Polarization, and Gender Attitudes in Croatia.” Journal of Marriage and Family 66 (5): 1089-107.

Authors: Robert M. Kunovich, Catherine Deitelbaum

Abstract:

We examine the sources of traditional gender attitudes during a period of social conflict and change. Using survey data from Croatia (Center for the Investigation of Transition and Civil Society, 1996; N = 2,030) we explore the relationships between war-related experiences, in-group and out-group polarization, and two dimensions of gender attitudes: policy attitudes (e.g., attitudes toward divorce and abortion) and gendered family roles (e.g., attitudes toward the division of household labor). We argue that ethnic conflict promotes in-group polarization (i.e., attachment to the Croatian nation) and out-group polarization (i.e., distrust of "others"), which lead to a resurgence of traditional values, including traditional gender attitudes. We also examine the effects of childhood socialization, individual resources, and interpersonal familial ties on gender attitudes. Results support the conflict-group polarization model and indicate that out-group polarization has the most powerful effect on both gendered family role attitudes and policy attitudes for men and women. In-group polarization does not affect gender attitudes, however.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Households Regions: Europe, Balkans, Eastern Europe Countries: Croatia

Year: 2004

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