Changing Values and Identities in Post-Communist World
This book offers a comparative analysis of value and identity changes in several post-Communist countries. In light of the tremendous economic, social and political changes in former communist states, the authors compare the values, attitudes and identities of different generations and cultural groups. Based on extensive empirical data, using quantitative and qualitative methods to study complex social identities, this book examines how intergenerational value and identity changes are linked to socio-economic and political development. Topics include the rise of nationalist sentiments, identity formation of ethnic and religious groups and minorities, youth identity formation and intergenerational value conflicts
A quarter of a century has passed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. A whole generation has been raised during this time in all the states belonging to the former USSR or the Eastern European ‘real socialist’ bloc. Tremendous social change has taken place in economic systems and in political governance in these states. The daily lives of ordinary people have changed rapidly in these countries during this period. We consider that individuals have changed psychologically in response to these social and cultural changes (Berry, 1980). In particular, we can assume that the values and identities of individuals in these countries have changed dramatically during this period.
This book presents reports of a set of research conducted in the countries of Eastern and Central Europe, the Russian Federation, and Uzbekistan after the collapse of USSR and so-called socialist bloc in Eastern Europe. Until now, there has been relatively little empirical research devoted to the changing values and identities across countries and generations in this region. This book has sought to make a valuable contribution to this understudied field.
This paper examines inter- and intragenerational value similarities and differences among two generations of ethnic Russian minority member living in two North Caucasus republics—North Ossetia-Аlania (RNO-A) and Kabardino-Balkaria (KBR) of the Russian Federation. It also compares them with values of two generations of Russians in the Central Federal District of Russia (CFD) and with values of indigenous people in these republics. The sample included 563 parent-adolescent dyads, 720 ethnic Russians and 406 members of the dominant ethnic groups in the North Caucasus republics overall. Data were obtained using Schwartz’s Revised Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ-R). Scores for Schwartz’s four higher-order value types (Openness to Change, Self-Enhancement, Conservation, Self-Transcendence) were calculated. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed intergenerational gaps only for Openness to Change and Conservation values among the ethnic Russian minority in the North Caucasus republics, whereas among Russians in the CFD intergenerational gaps emerged for all higher order values. Furthermore, we found that the pattern of intergenerational similarities and differences in the Russian minority of RNO and KBR was closer to the patterns of the dominant ethnic groups of these republics than to the pattern exhibited by Russians in the CFD. The incurred intergenerational value differences are interpreted as reflecting differences in sociocultural contexts of the two generations’ at their times of upbringing, in line with sociological modernization theory.
Authors present the main directions of the research of changing values and identities in post-communist countries of Eastern Europe
The study highlighted the role of family climate and value transmission in the well-being of youth. A positive psychological climate within a family (psychological closeness of youth with their mothers) was a strong predictor of the well-being of Russian youth in Latvia. The results indicated that the absolute value similarity scores of Russian youth with their Russian peers are the highest in all the higher-order values compared to value similarity of Russian youth with their mothers and Latvian peers. The positive relationship between the value similarity of Russian youth with Russian peers and psychological well-being of Russian youth was found only for similarity in self-enhancement values. The latter result is in line with the results of related research that showed that value congruence with the group of peers (this group might be seen as a reference group) contributes to life satisfaction (Khaptsova & Schwartz, 2016; Musiol & Boehnke, 2013). An additional conclusion from this study is that value transmission of ethnic minority youth serves not only as a tool for culture maintenance and well-being but also as a tool for acculturation at the individual, family, and group levels.
This paper examines the relationship between five group identities (ethnic, religious, republican, regional, and national) in three generations of Russians and Ossetians, living in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (RNO-A). The sample included 109 grandparent-parent-adolescent triads from Russian families and 106 such triads from Ossetian families (total N = 645). Data processing was carried out using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) and correlation analysis (partial correlations) separately for Russians and Ossetians. The results showed that the pattern of correlations between group identities among three generations of Russians and Ossetians suggested two bases for identification: national (Russian) and regional (North-Caucasian). Among three generations of Russians, the republican identity (identification with the Ossetian host society) was “a bridge” between the national identity and regional identity. In Ossetian grandparents and parents, these two identifications were also linked through ethnic and religious identities, while in Ossetian adolescents, these backgrounds were separated. Intergenerational differences in group identity structures were largely caused by changes in the sociocultural context of North Ossetia in the last 70 years (a three-generation period of socialization).
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to the fact that a young generation of citizens in the new independent states grow up in conditions that substantially differed from their parents’ period of socialization. A large number of ethnic Russians, who previously lived in one state, now live in different countries outside Russia. The sociopolitical status of Russians changed dramatically: they became an ethnic minority and faced the challenge of adapting to their new life status. In this study we follow the trajectories of value comparisons between two generations within countries in minority and majority groups, within generations between countries, and a cross-country comparison of families.
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.