Sunday, October 24, 2010

Are Jews more likely to see themselves as "world citizens"?

The World Values Survey asked participants, "To which of these geographical groups would you say you belong first of all? Locality, region, country, continent, world." I calculated the percent who answered "world" for two groups: 1) Jews in a particular country, and 2) all people in that country. Results are listed in the table. 

Jews are a little more likely than their fellow countrymen to identify as world citizens, but only in France is the difference large.   


  1. eduard8:28 AM

    Probably because high-IQ people are more likely to have transcendental, can't-we-all-just-get-along values, although you wouldn't see that if you equated Jews (as too many people do) with the more tribal and rancorous (and perhaps lower-IQ?) Jews who dominate Israeli politics.

  2. What do Israelis say when asked this question?

  3. Anonymous1:09 PM


    Could be.

    It could be also be that Jews feel closer to other Jews than to the citizens of their host nations, thereby not feeling the special bond, say, Germans feel for Germany. It's pretty clear Jews in Israel, high IQ or not, have less worldly attitudes. (KingM: do you really need a PEW poll to know that Israeli Jews have different attitudes than diaspora Jews?)

    I'm not dissing Jews btw, just, more or less, repeating what Hilaire Belloc has to say on this issue.

  4. "What do Israelis say when asked this question?"

    They weren't asked.

  5. Surprising how many Americans agree.

  6. Rob S.2:42 PM

    I think a fair number of Ashkenazim know enough to know that Belloc wasn't the only one to point that out, and also know that it wasn't good for the Jews.

    Questions about impacts of Jews on mass immigration, or opinions on race, are familiar ones in the altrightosphere. But I don't think many Jews or Gentiles are acquainted with the fact that such questions are being pondered in any way by any serious people. In contrast many Jews probably do recognize at least vaguely that their internationalness was once a major liability in mainstream political discussions about them. Hence they know which answer is good for the Jews and which is bad.

  7. Not big differences, except in France.

    I'm not sure why that is. Perhaps a larger fraction of French Jews are non-Ashkenazi (e.g., from Algeria and the like).

  8. Anonymous5:31 PM

    France is the only European country listed. It would be interesting to see that numbers for other European countries, in light of the European Union. I understand that people in Europe are strongly encouraged these days not to see themselves as Irish or German or Dutch, but as Europeans.

  9. I found a different wording of the question. From the same data-set you provide. It shows Jews are substantially less likely to "see themselves as world citizens" than white-Americans.

    Survey Year: 2006
    Proposition: "I see myself as a world citizen."

    Total USA residents [Average: +0.492] (sample size: 1,249)
    19.5% Strongly Agree
    45.3% Agree
    24.3% Disagree
    5.4% Strongly Disagree

    Jews [-.106] (sample size: 14)
    7.2% Strongly Agree
    37.5% Agree
    48.1% Disagree
    7.2% Strongly Disagree

    Protestants [+0.487] (sample size: 392)
    17.4% Strongly Agree
    51.1% Agree
    25.2% Disagree
    6.0% Strongly Disagree

    [Note: "Average" bracketed numbers are weighted-averages, as follows:
    Strong-Agree equals 2,
    Agree equals 1,
    Disagree equals -1,
    Strong-Disagree equals -2.]

    [Note: Invalid answers of "IDK"/No-Answer accounted for 5.4% of total responses]

    [Note: I found this information by going to World Values Survey raw data archive --> WVS 2005-2008 --> check box for USA --> Confirm Selection --> Ctrl-F search for "(V210) I see myself as a world citizen" and click --> Cross-Tabs --> Set Cross-Variable-1 as "Country" --> Set Cross-Variable-2 as "Respondent's Religion" --> Adjust 'Operations' dropbox to show "I Dont Know" responses or not.]

  10. Jews (sample size: 14)

    In a true random cross-section of 1,249 people in the 2006-USA, there should be at least 30 "ethnic Jews". Only 14 are listed as having been surveyed here. It's likely that around 30 ethnic-Jews were surveyed, but around half answered they were atheists or "no religion".

    A very likely effect being seen here, then, is that the more-religious half of Jews is much less "worldly" than the secular wing of ethnic-Jewry. But we already knew that.

  11. I'd also point out the small sample sizes being used.

    Of the 47 countries with recorded answers for Question-V210 (see above) and the religion of respondents recorded, only four countries had Jewish sample sizes above 10: The USA (14), Canada (12), India (12), and Mali (11).

  12. To switch gears,
    Is Canada really less "worldly" than Argentina, Australia, and the USA?

    The OP graphic implies this is so. Which doesn't seem plausible at all. Let's see:

    CANADA, 2006
    Proposition: "I see myself as a world citizen" [Same source as cited for the USA above, i.e. Question-V210]:

    All Canadians [+0.965] (sample size: 2,164)
    28.7% Strongly Agree
    55.0% Agree
    11.9% Disagree
    2.0% Strongly Disagree

    Protestants [+0.918]
    28.6% Strongly Agree
    53.5% Agree
    10.7% Disagree
    4.1% Strongly Disagree

    Catholics [+1.314]
    31.3% Strongly Agree
    54.0% Agree
    11.1% Disagree
    1.8% Strongly Disagree

    Jews [+0.604]
    20.3% Strongly Agree
    49.7% Agree
    29.9% Disagree
    0% Strongly Disagree

    Conclusion: The idea that Canadians have a weaker sense of being "citizens of the world" is confirmed as being absurd. Their weighted-score is far higher than the USA's, i.e. far more solidly in "Agree" territory.

    Conclusion: In Canada, Jews are less likely to identify as "citizens of the world" than other groups. The same as the finding for the USA.

  13. tommy6:41 PM

    I highly doubt Jews would be much more likely to see themselves as world citizens. Highly ethnocentric Jews aren't going to feel much connection with the citizens of, say, Thailand. Identification with Israel would be another matter.

  14. Chuck2:03 PM

    "Probably because high-IQ people are more likely to have transcendental, can't-we-all-just-get-along values"

    While I hear many people assert this, I don't quite understand the logic. For example, Kanazawa reasons that liberals are more universal, because liberal tend to have higher IQs, and higher IQ people can better think in evolutionarily novel ways, one way being post-tribalism.

    That seems to be what Eduard is suggesting -- and on the face of it, it makes sense-- except that there is nothing evolutionarily novel about the egalitarian, "can't we all just get along" sentiment. Clearly, there is a lack of novelty in not transcending this sentiment and being indifferent to getting along.

    A priori -- If one starts with tribal-egalitarianism as the starting point -- one could "transcend" in two ways: to non-tribal or universal egalitarianism OR to non-egalitarian or elitist tribalism. (Politically, socialism or fascism). And then if one keeps transcending, one moves to non-tribal, non-egalitarianism -- which would be radical individualism, unless the sentiment of self-interest was transcended. The latter case would be some type of nihilism.

    My point would be that while higher IQ people might be able to exert more control over-themselves, there is nothing that specifies a direction. It is interesting that more high IQ people tend to be "can't-we-all-just-get-alongers" instead of ruthless bastards -- but this must be due to (social) selection, not some type of Moral-IQ development.

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