The Scale on Conformity among Overseas Filipino Workers Vivien Joy Bautista, Joana Erika Carballo, Janna Viktoria De Guzman, Ma. Angelica Louise Naval, Norise Rgio Ortega Miriam College Introduction Working overseas nowadays is an ordinary thing for Filipinos. According to the 2010 census released by the Philippine National Statistics Office, there is about 2 million Overseas Filipino Workers who works abroad (Ericta, 2011).
It is common to know that in every Filipino family there is at least one who is working in another country. Each of them has their own different reasons why they want to work in another country; some might think that it’s a superb opportunity while others might find it as their last resort in order to fulfill their family’s needs. But accepting the fact that they are going to another country for hope of a good job, they are also challenged to adapt the culture of the country where they will be staying.
However, the researchers have no interest with the personal reasons of Filipinos going abroad but with the degree on which OFWs’ adapt a new environment, culture, and different people. Also, with regards to what Herbert Kelman proposed, this study sought to find out if in which type of conformity most OFWs fall; compliance, internalization or identification. By assessing the level of conformity of OFWs, this can help the researchers to make an assumption about the how well they live in foreign countries in terms of adapting to changes.
This would also help in gathering more information about the social status of Filipinos working abroad. Review of Related Literature According to Ducanes and Abella, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are figures who are both much celebrated and much lamented from within the Philippines and outside of it. OFWs are often called modern day heroes and their remittances frequently credited with having kept the country’s economy afloat in the face of myriad political and economic crises over the past three decades.
On the flipside, OFWs are also often held as symbolic of the sad state of Philippine society, especially as it is feared that the most talented workers are among those leaving the country, at times to take on lower-skilled jobs not commensurate with their qualifications. There are many traits that Filipinos are well-known for; one of these is conformity. It was described as the practice of making oneself fit in to his surroundings or accommodating the norms that are being practiced in the place where he lives. Tadiar, 2009) Conformity is not just doing what other people do but it is also being affected with what you change in the way you do something. It is being different, acting strangely from how one person knows himself personally (Myers, 2010). People conforms and adapts their unreal personality. When they conform, they became more powerless and to be able to break this people should achieve self realization (Fromm, 2009). Conformity becomes a positive attitude when it boosts one’s self confidence.
It makes people feel even better when the result of their conformity is social approval especially in groups where they have a great need to belong. (Psych Blog, 2010) Leon Mann’s definition of conformity is “yielding to group pressures”. People who are not so confident with their self are more likely to conform with others even at times when they don’t exactly share the same belief or idea (Pasupathi, 1999). As summarized by Bibb Latane and Sharon Wolf, “traditional approaches to social influence have concentrated almost exclusively on situations in which the majority serves as the source of influence pressure. (Allen, 1965; Darley & Darley, 1976; Kiesler & Kiesler, 1969) According to Herbert Kelman, there are three types of conformity: compliance, internalization and identification. Compliance is a type of conformity wherein an individual gets along with the group even if he believes that they are wrong and he does not change his opinion. Internalization is changing ones opinion because he is persuaded that the group is right. Lastly, identification, it is conforming to what everyone is doing. Groups influence the way people conform.
Most individuals do not conform with all the groups that they belong rather they only conform with important groups where they value their belongingness and to groups where they look forward to being a part of. (Robbins, 2009) Having accepted the challenge to go overseas and make a living in a foreign land, OFWs face another challenge of adapting to the culture of their host country when they get there. They adapt by learning every aspect of the country’s culture so they could adjust well to their life abroad (Abellana, 2010).
When it comes to Filipino’s degree of conformity according to Abellana (2010), a previous study entitled “A Peek into Socio-Economic and Cultural Transfers (A Study on Cultural Transmission by OFWs from Host-to-Home Country)” which was conducted by Synovate Inc. and was authorized by the Western Union Company, have proven that when overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) return home, they tend to end up adopting certain traits and practices which are prevalent in the country they came from. 97 percent of their participants established an observable change, influenced by the culture of their host country, when they returned home.
There were changes in attitude and behavior, but the most observable ones were in food and fashion (Abellana, 2010). This study pointed out the contributions of OFWs to the economy of the country, as well as its culture. When OFWs learn some practices which are advantageous for them, they conform and bring these with them when they return home. The results of the study also showed significant proof that despite bringing observable cultural changes when returning home, OFWs remain Filipinos at heart.
Their Filipino traits and values are still seen in their heart, mind, and sometimes, they even return home with a stronger Pinoy spirit than ever before (Abellana, 2010). Method Participants The respondents will be chosen conveniently. One hundred fifty OFWs whose age ranges from 20-50 are our target respondents. We will have twenty more participants just for buffer in case some participants answered the scale incompletely. The respondents can answer the scale regardless of what country they have worked at, how long they have been working there and what kind of worked they are into.
We will look for participants at Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and other agencies. In exception on taking the scale are OFWs who happen to work outside the country for the first time. Materials The scale on conformity among OFWS is a six point Likert scale. This means that there is no right or wrong answer. The respondents will just indicate where he or she stands on the continuum between agreement and disagreement. The set of statements deals with how OFW act and behave when they are in another country. Most of the statements are about their everyday interaction with other people, friends, and companions.