We examined how experiences during the recent thirty-year civil conflict in Aceh, Indonesia predicted vertical (VC) and horizontal (HC) collectivism, national identification, and uncertainty/fear. 215 respondents from Aceh completed measures of brutal experiences during the civil conflict using the Triandis (1996) INDCOL scale of vertical and horizontal collectivism (VC or HC) and individualism (VI or HI), a measure of identification with the Acehnese people, and a measure of social uncertainty that focused on respondents’ perceived security within the post-conflict province of Aceh. As expected, brutal wartime experiences were associated with increments in VC. These experiences were unrelated to HC or either type of individualism. Mediation analyses conducted to assess the differences between the two types of collectivism and their links to uncertainty and fear showed that uncertainty and fear were predicted by both VC and HC when both types of collectivism scores were entered into a regression equation simultaneously. Step 2 also fulfilled a requirement for performing this analysis by demonstrating that the mediator, i.e., identification with other Acehnese citizens, was associated with VC and with HC. Steps three and four examined the regression of both types of collectivism on uncertainty and fear when entered into the analysis together with the national identity mediator. This analysis retained VC as a direct predictor of uncertainty and fear without the mediation of national identification (β = –.23, p < .001). However, the relationship between HC and uncertainty/fear disappeared (β = –.08), leaving the relationship between national identification and uncertainty/fear intact (β = –.28, p < .001). Thus, horizontal collectivism was found to predict fearful uncertainty in post-conflict Aceh, but only when respondents felt a strong sense of kinship with Acehnese citizens and their culture. Discussion focuses on the interactive contributions of war, collectivism, and uncertainty in the development of a post-war national unity.
|Keywords:||Civil War, Victimization, Cultural Orientation, Collectivism, National Identification, Post-war Trauma, Fear and Uncertainty|
The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations: Annual Review, Volume 12, 2012, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 544.836KB).
Professor of Social Psychology, Department of Counseling and Psychology, College of Education, Troy University, Troy, Alabama, USA
Political Analyst, The Aceh Institute, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia & The Aceh Institute, Banda Aceh, Banda Aceh, Indonesia