Clashing Values: Supranational Identities, Geopolitical Rivalry and Europe’s Growing Cultural Divide
Soon after the collapse of Soviet-type communism in Central and Eastern Europe, a new geopolitical division began to reshape the continent. Our study demonstrates that this newly emerging geopolitical divide has been underpinned by a corresponding cultural divergence, of which “emancipative values” are the most powerful marker. Using the European Values Study/World Values Survey 1990 to 2014, we find that the former Iron Curtain no longer constitutes a cultural boundary because the ex-communist states that joined the European Union have been converging with the West’s strong emphasis on emancipative values. Instead, a new and steeply growing cultural gap has emerged between the European Union and its Eastern neighbors. The two competing geopolitical formations in the West and East—the European and Eurasian Unions, respectively—have diverged culturally in recent decades. The divergence goes back to contrasting supranational identities that originate in different religious traditions, which rulers have increasingly accentuated to strengthen their nations’ endorsement or dismissal of emancipative values. Through this sorting-out process, emancipative values became an increasingly significant marker of a Western-vs-Eastern cultural identity. Our study is the first to link this groundbreaking cultural transformation to civilizational identities and geopolitical rivalry.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.
Stretching from the end of the Middle Ages to the Second Industrial Revolution (c. 1500-1900), the authors in this volume analyze spiritual kinship in Europe and its associated social customs - with special attention given to godparenthood. These customs had great importance for Early Modern and Modern European societies, and this collection represents an interdisciplinary effort to combine the work of social and economic historians, historical demographers, anthropologists and sociologists. Arranged chronologically and geographically, chapters cover specific areas of the European continent, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Reconstructing changes in theological thought about spiritual kinship, particularly before and after the Reformation, and comparing Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox views and practices, Spiritual Kinship in Europe provides a comprehensive picture of how social practices and religious ideas related to spiritual kinship and godparenthood.
The results of the interrogative psycholinguistic experiment described in this article is part of a broader research of how soci-ocultural knowledge influences communication in the Internet discussions by readers of American press. The experiment allows obtaining a complex model of positively/negatively evaluated events in the American society, paying special attention to the value-evaluation component. This model can further be a basis for explanation of the communicative strategies of argumentation and manipulation used in verbal description of events. The type of sociocultural mental structures described in the article is viewed as a dynamic cognitive gestalt that can be potentially split into a number of parameters, but is not reducible to their sum, which is characterized by both individual existence in the mind of a native speaker and distributed existence in a sociocultural community as an abstract social invariant. The article discusses advantages of psycholinguistic approach to modeling the fragments of this background knowledge compared to using exclusively introspective text analysis, as it allows to separate methodologically the research of mental structures and particular instances of verbal communication that are based on those structures and gives an opportunity to avoid the vicious circle of studying communicative strategies used in the text exclusively modeled from the same text material.
A joint research project carried out by an interdisciplinary group of Russian and Swedish linguists, sociologists and educators-psychologists (the Swedish Institute grant), besides solving pragmatic tasks of finding out relative quantitative-qualitative specificity of national cognitive representations of values, first of all, had methodological goals. They were to check the efficiency of the linguistic methods developed in this study (and, thus, to prove the theoretical ideas that served the basis for it) of getting factual data that allow reconstructing and comparing of the corresponding areas of cognitive representations.
The main focus of this paper is the relation between the realisation of the right of the child to express his/her views and democracy in Russia. With this in view, I will study the interconnection between the right to express the views and the right to participate. Further, I will give an overview of the specifics of democracy in Russia, how they influence political participation, and what could be done to prevent the further infantilisation of citizens in Russia. Finally, I will explore traditional perceptions with regard to children’s participation in Russia and the legal framework and practice of the implementation of the child’s right to social and political participation.
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.