Academic journal article Review of European Studies

The Empirical Studying of the Ethnoidentity (on the Example of Russians and Tatars of the Republic of Tatarstan)

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

The Empirical Studying of the Ethnoidentity (on the Example of Russians and Tatars of the Republic of Tatarstan)

Article excerpt

Abstract

The relevance of the studied problem is caused by the variety of reasons. First of all, the ethnos is the most reliable group, that ensures the safety and the support in the life, secondly-the ethnic community strengthens the feeling of the intra group unity, thirdly, the ethnos provides the continuity of transfer and preservation of the values of the community; fourthly, the ethnic identity is more accurately realized if the person lives in the multiethnic environment. The purpose of the article consists in the clarification of the role of bilingualism in the formation of the ethnic identity of Russians and Tatars, since its impact on the consciousness of their ethnic identity and orientation on the national-cultural values remains debatable. The available empirical information is rather fragmentary and casual. The leading method of the research is the comparative approach to the study of the influence of the bilingualism on the formations of the ethnic identity of Russians and Tatars. The main result of the research is the evidence of such fact that the understanding of the identity is defined by the place of the residence (the city, the village), by the occupation (the intellectual, the worker), and by the social environment (the mono or bilingual environment). The materials of the article can be used in educational institutions when drawing up the curricula, taking into account the regional and Federal component of the humanitarian disciplines.

Keywords: bilingualism, monolingu?ism, self-confidence, ethnic nihilism, ethnicc fanaticism, ethnicity

1. Introduction

For a long time in Russian ethnopsychology and ethnosociology the main subject of the theoretical and empirical researches was the ethnic consciousness-the understanding of the individuals of their own identity of a certain ethnic community. The traditions of research of the ethnic consciousness in the national history and ethnography have a broad theoretical and empirical basis (Drobizheva, 1995; Lebedeva, 2000; Stefanenko, 2009; Soldatova, 1998; Khotinets, 1995; Zakirova & Khairutdinova, 2014; Kamalova & Zakirova, 2014). The concept of the ethnic consciousness as a wider phenomenon which contains the totality of the views of the members of the ethnic community of their own and other ethnic groups, including socio-psychological attitudes and stereotypes was allocated. In this interpretation the ethnic consciousness is a complex notion and its meaning is close to the concept of the ethnic identity or ethnicity,-terms that more accepted in the Western scientific tradition. The most complete definition of the ethnic consciousness belongs to V. Yu. Hotinets: "the ethnic identity is relatively stable system of the realized perceptions and evaluations of the existing ethnodifferentiating and ethnointegrating components of the life of the ethnos. As a result of the formation of this system, a person realizes himself as the representative of an ethnic community" (Khotinets, 1995).

Such determination of ethnoidentity puts forward the idea of its transformation and formation. But on the formation of the ethnic identity makes impact the degree of heterogeneity not only the immediate environment, but also an environment in general. In other words, it is significant, whether there lives a person in the multiethnic or monoethnic environment. The situation of the interethnic communication gives to the individual more opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge of the features of their own and other groups, their similarity and distinctions, also promotes the development of the interethnic understanding and formation of the communicative skills. It doesn't contradict at all that in the multiethnic environment (especially in the situation of the non-conflict interethnic relations) some blurriness of the ethnic identity is inevitable. Our researches confirm this supposition and also we claim that identity gains a certain importance and expressiveness when two or several ethnic groups live in long contact. …

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