“Identities Portfolio” of the Youth of the Southern Russia After 12 Years

“Identities Portfolio” of the Youth of the Southern Russia After 12 Years


Avksentyev V.A.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Federal Research Center the Southern Scientific Centre of RAS, Rostov-on-Don, Russia avksentievv@rambler.ru

Aksyumov B.V.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., North-Caucasus Federal University, Stavropol, Russia aksbor@mail.ru

ID of the Article:


The article was supported by he article was supported by RFBR, grant No. 20-011-00132.


For citation:

Avksentyev V.A., Aksyumov B.V. “Identities Portfolio” of the Youth of the Southern Russia After 12 Years. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2022. No 7. P. 76-87



Abstract

The changes in the identification sphere of young people in the South of Russia are studied. The analysis is based on the comparison of mass surveys in 2009 and 2021, the effectiveness of identity politics in the region is evaluated. The hypothesis of the study was that at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st century, the all-Russian identity has significantly strengthened compared to the end of the first decade, and this would allow to move from assessing the situation as a “competition of identities” to their complementarity. The hypothesis was partially confirmed. The importance of all socio-cultural identities that make up the “portfolio of identities” of the youth of Russian South has noticeably decreased. Indirectly, this indicates the stabilization of the ethno-social and ethno-political situation – the mobilizing character of the identity has been reduced. However, no significant dynamics in strengthening the all-Russian identity was revealed. If ethnic Russian respondents demonstrated the equivalence of the all-Russian and ethnic identities, the respondents – representatives of the Caucasian peoples showed the persisting imbalance between the key socio-cultural identities – the all-Russian and ethnic – in favor of the ethnic one, and over 12 years the imbalance has increased. A shift from formal markers (citizenship) of the all-Russian identity to substantive ones (feeling of belonging to all-Russian history and culture) was found out, which was interpreted as a trend towards the formation of a Russian civilizational identity. This is also evidenced by the growth of the number of respondents who perceive Russia as a bridge between the civilizations of the West and the East. It is concluded that, in the presence of positive trends in identification processes among the youth of the South of Russia, the refusal to evaluate the situation as a “competition of identities” would be too premature, and the identity politics in the region cannot be considered sufficiently effective.


Keywords
all-Russian identity; civic identity; ethnic identity; civilizational identity; identity politics; South of Russia; North Caucasus; youth; “identities portfolio”

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