A model of global citizenship: Antecedents and outcomes

Stephen Reysen, Iva Katzarska‐Miller
Published Online:
17 Jul 2012
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 48 Issue 5

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As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, exposure to global cultures affords individuals opportunities to develop global identities. In two studies, we examine the antecedents and outcomes of identifying with a superordinate identity—global citizen. Global citizenship is defined as awareness, caring, and embracing cultural diversity while promoting social justice and sustainability, coupled with a sense of responsibility to act. Prior theory and research suggest that being aware of one's connection with others in the world (global awareness) and embedded in settings that value global citizenship (normative environment) lead to greater identification with global citizens. Furthermore, theory and research suggest that when global citizen identity is salient, greater identification is related to adherence to the group's content (i.e., prosocial values and behaviors). Results of the present set of studies showed that global awareness (knowledge and interconnectedness with others) and one's normative environment (friends and family support global citizenship) predicted identification with global citizens, and global citizenship predicted prosocial values of intergroup empathy, valuing diversity, social justice, environmental sustainability, intergroup helping, and a felt responsibility to act for the betterment of the world. The relationship between antecedents (normative environment and global awareness) and outcomes (prosocial values) was mediated by identification with global citizens. We discuss the relationship between the present results and other research findings in psychology, the implications of global citizenship for other academic domains, and future avenues of research. Global citizenship highlights the unique effect of taking a global perspective on a multitude of topics relevant to the psychology of everyday actions, environments, and identity.

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