International poll finds Israelis high on national pride

Israelis are very proud of their country in general and of its specific achievements.

By JUDY SIEGEL
March 1, 2006 21:36
2 minute read.
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israeli flag 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Despite all their problems, Israelis are very proud of their country in general and of its specific achievements, according to a 33-country comparative survey conducted by the University of Chicago's National Opinion Research Center (NORC). The paper, published Wednesday in the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, is based on surveys conducted by the International Social Survey Program, a consortium of survey researchers throughout the world. On the general pride scale, people in Venezuela had a score of 18.4 (out of a possible 25), while Americans had a score of 17.7. Other top leaders in that category were Australia (17.5), Austria (17.4), South Africa (17), Canada (17), Chile (17.1), New Zealand (16.6) and Israel (16.2). A second set of questions was asked about national pride in specific areas, such as the nation's achievements in science and technology, the arts, sports and political influence in the world. In this category, the US led with a score of 4 followed by Venezuela (3.6), Australia (2.9), South Africa (2.7), Chile (2.6), Austria (2.4), Canada (2.4), the Philippines (2.3) and Israel (2.3). The bottom 10 nations in the survey, beginning with the last, were the eastern portion of Germany, Latvia, Sweden, Slovakia, Poland, the western portion of Germany, Taiwan, France, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. Many of those on the bottom of the lists were established nations in Europe. "It could be that those nations are experiencing a response to globalism, particularly among young people," suggested Tom Smith, director of the General Social Survey at NORC. "Many identify as much as being Europeans as they do as being citizens of their own country. In some European nations, the concept of strong patriotism also has negative connotations," Smith said. "The world is primarily organized in nation states: sovereign, geo-political entities organized around one predominant nationality or ethnic group," Smith said. "National identity is the cohesive force that both holds nation states together and shapes their relationships with the family of nations." The researchers found that nations with growing national pride were those that had experienced terrorist attacks on their citizens, such as the United States and Australia. These experiences usually strengthened national solidarity, he added. The study also found that within the surveyed countries, national pride was generally lower among minority groups, the better educated and younger adults. The researchers asked a series of questions related to general national pride that asked people to what extent they agreed with such statements as, "I would rather be a citizen of my country than any other country in the world," and "Generally speaking, my country is a better country than most countries."

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