Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Changing Values in the Context of Generational Approach in the Kazakhstan

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Changing Values in the Context of Generational Approach in the Kazakhstan

Article excerpt

Abstract

The article examines the changing values-individualism, and collectivism in Kazakhstan in the context of generational difference. In the years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan has experienced wide-reaching and ongoing social changes. Within this space, identity formation and reformation has been a preeminent process for individuals. Results indicate that both of the modernist and individualistic values predominate in current Kazakhstani society, more pervasive especially among young generation. In Kazakhstani society, which is still based on traditional values and codes of behavior, formation of a new value system in the transition to a market economy is complicated and controversial, particularly for the older generation.

Keywords: sociocultural changes, values, Kazakhstani society, axiological reconstruction of society

1. Introduction

No culture is static as it includes within itself the elements of change. Culture is dynamic because it is essentially an adaptive mechanism, and different social systems seek their adaptation differently by the variations in their natural settings. Thus, cultural change is the process by which the existing orders of society, that is, its social, spiritual and material civilization is transformed from one type to another. It may be caused by internal or external factors. In other words, it may be induced by the factors and forces spontaneously arising within the network or it may take place through the contact of various cultures. Cultural change along these lines takes the form of independent evolution or includes the process called "diffusion" through spread of ideas and objects to other societies. In era of globalization, cultural change has assumed a rapidity and magnitude, unprecedented in human history. The technical inventions, the developments of industrial enterprises and financial and mercantile organizations have contributed towards the intensification of this evolutionary process. Social change is the transformation of culture and social organization / structure over time. In contemporary world we are aware that society is never static and that social, economic, political and cultural changes occur permanently.

The human culture - develops over the time, although changes in value systems can be slow and painful for a society. Social confusion is an inevitable outcome of cultural conversion. Values evolve in the course of time, sometimes over years. In their youth, young generations are open to the environment's impact, especially it is nearest group - the parents and "parental guidance". But, moving away from home frequently starts an independent life, and values may change. Comparing values of young generation with of senior may uncover differences in values between generations.

The role of values plays an important role in defining the main sociocultural transformation in a society. Values are main organizing principles or ideas that govern and determine human behavior. Although the word is generally used with link to moral and cultural beliefs, values are of many types. Unlike the skill or attitude that may be specific to a particular physical activity or social context, values tend to be more multipurpose in their application. They express in everything we do. Values can be explained as the nature of the knowledge gained by mankind from past experiences distilled from its local circumstances and specific context to extract the fundamental wisdom of life derived from these experiences.

Since the collapse of the USSR, Kazakhstan has emerged as the lone success story in Central Asia, largely due to its vast stores of oil and natural gas. As a result, the country is part of a global, historical trend toward the erosion of traditional value systems, which is associated with increased development and changes in social structure (e.g., urbanization, higher education levels, and an increase in working mothers). But, this trend has not yet progressed as far as it might have been. …

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