Changing values and identities in post-communist world
This paper examines the role of the place of living (urban or rural society) and its social- cultural context in determining the parent- adolescent child value similarity. We interviewed representatives of two generations: parents and children from 90 families in Moscow and 62 families in Russian villages (n=304 people). Our findings indicated the influence of socio- cultural context (urban-rural) on the transmission of values. Conservation values were primarily transmitted from parents to children in the more traditional, rural context. Openness to change, Self-Enhancement and Self-Transcendence values were transmitted from parents to children mainly in the urban context. Perceived psychological closeness between parents and adolescents (as perceived by adolescents) affected the adoption of values by the adolescents in both urban and rural contexts. All values of adolescents were more similar to the values of peers than to their parents, in both urban and rural contexts.
The chapter analyzes transformations of identity and work ethic among rural habitants through the lens of moral emotions based on the empirical data – thirty semi-structured interviews were collected in several villages of the agricultural region of Russia. We present the following logic of transformations: changed socio-cultural conditions, including public sentiment toward agricultural labor, lead to the transformation of identity of peasantry. Shifts in self-identification cause changes in labor attitudes and strategies, and new attitudes are ingrained in the work ethic of Russian peasantry. The decision to concentrate on emotions emerged in the aftermath of a more general study of the social and structural conditions in the Russian countryside, which resulted in interviews abounding with villagers’ representations of negative emotions. Building on the existing body of work on the psychology and sociology of emotions (focused on studies of shame and envy), the authors have identified new demonstrations of emotion arising from new socio-cultural conditions in the Russian village. This is achieved through an analysis of the verbal markers employed in moral emotions. The authors outline the phenomenon of “contempt for rural/physical labor” from both the immediate surrounding environment and wider society more generally. This emotional backdrop brings with it negative effects such as shame and envy that, in turn, corrode self-esteem and self-efficacy among the rural population, leading even to withdrawal from active employment on the land and the weakening of social ties. As a result, the rural ethical views work as a thing needed purely in order to meet one’s basic needs, a position that weakens any aspirations toward economic success and simultaneously promotes a sense of endurance and suffering among the rural population who are forced by ‘necessity’ to do such hard and ‘dirty’ work.