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ATTRIBUTIONS OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR POVERTY AMONG LEBANESE AND PORTUGUESE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS: A CROSS-CULTURAL COMPARISON

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Abstract:

This study examines poverty attitudes among Portuguese and Lebanese students (n=372) along Feagin's fatalistic, individualistic, and structuralistic dimensions. Results show that class and nationality are important variables for predicting the causes of poverty in cross-cultural terms. Lebanese students had higher agreements on the fatalistic dimension of poverty than did Portuguese. Significant differences were found between the middle-class Portuguese and Lebanese students on the individualistic and fatalistic dimensions. Middle-class Lebanese students were significantly more fatalistic than their Portuguese counterparts. Furthermore, middle-class Lebanese students documented greater individualistic interpretations of poverty than did Portuguese. MANCOVA test, which used class crossed with nationality on the poverty dimensions, and gender as a covariate did not yield significant differences between means. Wilks' Lambda regression coefficient showed a significant interaction between-class and nationality on the fatalistic dimension. Although the results portray different scores of poverty from those in previous studies, Lebanese students' structuralistic attributions are explained by the present economic and social crises of their country which transcend a strong orientation of system blame. Recommendations are offered for future crosscultural research on poverty.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2002.30.1.25

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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