Abstract

This article addresses the issue of personality vs. cultural norms with regard to two related problems: the relationship between authoritarianism and prejudice, and the empirical foundation of the concept of ethnocentrism. The analysis is based on a survey of anti-Gypsy attitudes in two Hungarian cities, Salgótarján and Sopron. A random sample of 400 adolescents was surveyed, including one parent of each adolescent (total N = 800). The two locations differ in aggregate level of anti-Gypsy prejudice, that is, the anti-Gypsy cultural norm, which allows the use of a quasi-experimental design. The results support the empirical foundation of the concept of ethnocentrism, although it was possible to detect the effect of cultural pressure on the connection between anti-Gypsy prejudice and general ethnocentrism. Concerning the effect of cultural pressure on the relationship between authoritarianism and anti-Gypsy prejudice, the results support the cultural pressure model in the youth samples, but contradict this model in the parent samples. Multivariate causal modeling of the youth anti-Gypsy prejudice shows that in both cities authoritarianism and parents' prejudice are significant direct predictors. However, the role of authoritarianism is considerably weaker under condition of higher normative pressure.