Culturometrics: Quantitative Methodology for Measuring Privileged Qualitative Judgements

By Béatrice Boufoy-Bastick.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper introduces Culturometrics, a new area in cultural identity research. Globalization, with its inherent cultural mixing, has made traditional measures of cultural identity based on language, religion or rituals, inappropriate for assessing cross-cultural composite identities in multicultural societies. Culturometrics, by contrast, considers cultural identity of individuals and sub-groups as a complex composite of primary cultural identities evidencing cultural influences from society’s other cultural groups. It uses Cultural Indices, which are measures of privileged information statistically grounded in the consensual values of cultural sub-groups. Cultural Indices are more discriminating than traditional nominal categorizations of cultural identity. They allow quantitative comparisons between individuals and between cultural subgroups, and can be used to predict comparative cultural behaviours. This paper demonstrates the construct validity and concurrent validity of the measurement method and reports on its use in studies of pre-determined ethnic identities in Fiji and socially determined cultural identities in Jamaica. The details provided allow replication as part of identity research in other culturally diverse contexts.

Keywords: Cultural Identity

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 10, pp.1-10. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 759.448KB).

Dr. Béatrice Boufoy-Bastick

Lecturer in French, Department of Liberal Arts, University of the West Indies, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Trinidad and Tobago

Béatrice Boufoy-Bastick is a linguist and a postgraduate of the University of London. She holds Masters degrees from the Sorbonne and Rouen universities in France and a doctorate from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. She has wide cross-cultural experience of teaching and researching in Europe, Australia, Asia, the South Pacific and in the Caribbean. Her main research interests are in the interaction of culture and second language learning and in the development of innovative qualitative research methods.

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