Accepted paper:

Defining Cultural Competence and Consensus Among Croatian Youth: Education and Employment Domains

Authors:

Lana Peternel (Institute for Social Research in Zagreb)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I examine how high school students with diverse preferences and ambitions construct values and believes about good and successful life in the contemporary transitional society in Croatia.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I examine how high school students with diverse preferences and ambitions construct values and believes about good and successful life in the contemporary transitional society in Croatia. The study is carried out on the sample of 473 high school students with different socio-demographic backgrounds from four diverse towns and cities. Two cultural domains reflecting educational and employment expectations are examined based on the following methodological tools: open interviews with key informants as well as the free-listing technique and self-administered questionnaires. The research is based on the cultural consensus theory developed by Romney, Weller and Batchelder (1986), whereas the ANTHROPAC software is used as the analytical tool for data analyses. By analyzing the patterns of agreement among high school students I show that despite universal and wide sharing of norms and ideas (believes) differences according to specific population characteristics as well as personal and individual priorities are maintained. I argue that in many individual cases cultural competence also includes the creative and unique patterns of conventional attitudes as well as the universal and the common to meet both personal goals and the overall success. Observed patterns of agreement (consensus) and disagreement (the lack of consensus) support the view that individuals strive for the balance between fitting their personal models of "good and successful life" to broad cultural norms and accommodating personal goals and needs to particular settings.

panel LD39
Learning, Education and Knowledge Transmission in Cultural and Intercultural contexts