The Problem of Youth Identity in the Russian Multi-Cultural Society

By Sakaev, Vasil T. | Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict, January 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

The Problem of Youth Identity in the Russian Multi-Cultural Society


Sakaev, Vasil T., Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict


INTRODUCTION

Identity is one of the most effective mechanisms of mobilization inducing people into collective actions. It became the important tool for the analysis of social and political position of individuals, groups and communities in the modern world (Giddens A., 1991, p.256; Taylor C., 1994., p. 25; Burke, P.J., Stryker, Sh., 2000, p. 284; Burke, P.J., Stets, J., 2000, p. 224) and researches of various political subjects' activity (Abdelal, R., Herrera, Y.M., Johnston, A.I., McDermott, R., 2006, p. 695).

Formation of identity of the Post-Soviet Russia is an important scientific problem which is caused by demolition of former construct "the Soviet people" and development of a new concept "Rossiyane". In what measure it became part of consciousness of the country population? How is this concept apprehended by the non-Russian people?

At last, Russia occupies huge space with a big variety of geographical zones that generates strong regional identity even in regions with mainly Russian population, for example "Siberians" (population of Siberia), "Pomors" (population of North Russia). There is a local identity which is of great importance for inhabitants of historic centers (Kazan or Arkhangelsk).

It is obvious that for the senior generation which is brought up in the Soviet system the concept "Rossiyane" is alien, but the younger generation which was born after collapse of the USSR has to perceive this concept positively. How strongly is it introduced in youth consciousness?

For research of youth identity formation problems sociological survey was conducted in 2014. It captured 4 universities: Kazan Federal University (Kazan and Naberezhnye Chelny cities), Siberian Federal University (Krasnoyarsk), Northern Federal University (Arkhangelsk), Mari State University (Yoshkar-Ola). Thus, students in 4 regions (Tatarstan, Mari El, Krasnoyarsk Krai and Arkhangelsk region) of 3 federal districts participated in the survey (Volga, Siberian and Northwest).

Identity of student's youth acted as research object, and definition of structure and nature of youth identity in the multicultural environment became the purpose. Achievement of the purpose demanded identification of a ratio of religious, ethnic, local, regional and national (state) identity; definitions of the respondents' relation to a concept "Rossiyane"; specifications of youth ideas of character of the Russian Federation as state.

Due to research it was succeeded to establish specifics of youth identity formation and a ratio of different identity levels, knowledge of which can be considered when developing the actions directed to forming the all-Russian identity.

Important question for the subsequent researches is definition of structure and factors of civil identity formation which is capable to provide a democratic vector of development, to increase efficiency of political institutes, to overcome calls of ethnic and religious radicalism, to become the most important factor of the country unity strengthening in the 21st century.

METHOD

Students of several divisions of 4 universities became subjects for research. The volume of a sample made 2048 respondents. Selection type - quote, representative by gender, course, direction of training. Structure of selection by gender: men - 43,5%, women - 56,5%; in the direction of training: in the social science and humanitarian departments - 53,2%, in the technical departments - 46,4%; on territorial placement: Krasnoyarsk Krai - 28,5%, Republic of Tatarstan - 32,1%, Arkhangelsk region - 23,2%, Republic of Mari El - 16,2% of sampling.

Method of empirical data collecting - the sociological poll which was carried out in April - May, 2014. The data analysis was carried out by means of descriptive statistics with use of SPSS package.

RESULTS

The general results of answers to the question "Who do you consider yourself to be first of all?" are presented in table 1 (it was necessary to range in points from 1 to 5). …

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