Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Social Engagement of Kazakh Students

Academic journal article Review of European Studies

Social Engagement of Kazakh Students

Article excerpt

Abstract

The article reviews the problem of social engagement of Kazakh youth. Having analyzed Russian and foreign literature, the authors have come to conclusion that at present there is no unified definition of this term. The experimental part of the work has studied the social engagement of Kazakh students and revealed their motives for taking part in various types of socially important activities. The conclusion based on the results of the survey has been made.

Keywords: engagement, social engagement, students

1. Introduction

The problems of social engagement of the youth and the analysis of its specific demonstration have been interdisciplinary issues for many years. At various times, the society treated the concept of socially engaged individual in different ways, so the attempts to analyze it overall and its components were unsuccessful. At present, the Kazakh youth has a controversial status. On the one hand, it is characterized as socially immature and politically passive (low level of civil society: the rights of the citizens are insufficiently protected, there are few political and civic associations and their passivity, immature political views). On the other hand, the youth is considered as innovative resource and the subject of social transformations.

However, the recent years demonstrated the development of youth movements and communities, and consequently, the increasing awareness of the importance of social engagement in the process of formation and development of civil society. Self-organizing and self-realization of such youth is carried out through the activities of youth organizations, the implementation of social projects and initiatives. However, in this country the percentage of socially engaged young people is very low.

This sociological research studies the level of social engagement of Kazakh youth.

2. Literature Review

To formulate the initial theoretical views of this work, the analysis of nature and meaning of the concept "social engagement" was implied.

Due to the transition of modern society to market economy and new conditions of life in public consciousness, many scientific concepts have changed as well. One of these concepts, "public engagement", was relevant in the Soviet period. For modern society, the concept "social engagement" is applied. Conditions of modern life fill this term with new content. In some philosophical, sociological, and educational researches public and social engagement are often considered as synonyms (Bekhterev, Arkhangelskii, Vulfov, & Malkovskaya).

The dictionary edited by I. T. Frolova defines social engagement as the operation of the individual in the society, associated with knowledge, goal setting, changing the reality, and the transition of interest into activity. It is also closely connected with active human nature, the contradiction between life conditions and objective needs of the individual and is aimed at improving the life of the society (Frolova, 1986).

V. F. Bekhterev considers public (social) engagement as the quality of an individual, which displays in the consciousness of the need for socially significant activities and the readiness for this activity, the ability to act unselfishly for the common good (Bekhterev, 1985).

According to K. A. Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, an individual demonstrates social engagement in his relation to the activities and consists in the ability to put forward new social challenges and take responsibility for their implementation (Abulkhanova-Slavskaya, 1980).

V. G. Mordkovich notes that the meaning of this concept lies in the fact that social engagement is a significant social quality of a person, his "active essence." Being a human activity, social engagement acquires the status of the phenomenon of social reality (Mordkovich, 1981).

L. N. Zhilina and N. T. Frolova define social engagement as a psychological quality of a person. "It is an attraction to everything happening around, taking interest not only in the events nearby, among the employees, but also in a town, city, village, country, worldwide. …

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