С.А. Щудло









В статье анализируется пространство социальных идентичностей украинских студентов. Особое внимание уделяется анализу их гражданской идентичности. На материалах эмпирических социологических исследований анализируется уровень гражданской идентичности украинских студентов и, в частности, студентов педагогических специальностей. Обосновывается важное значение института образования в конструировании гражданской идентичности молодежи.

Ключевые слова:

студенты, молодежь, идентичность, гражданская идентичность, среднее образование, Украина.

S.A. Shchudlo



The article deals with social identities of Ukrainian students. Particular attention is given to the analysis of their civil identity. The civil identity of all the Ukrainian students and those of them who study pedagogics, in particular, is compared. The research is based on empirical sociological studies. The importance of such institution as education is substantiated.

Key words:

students, youth, identity, civil identity, high education, Ukraine.

Broad set of social relations, diversity of social roles and functions are the factors that have to determine the place of a human being in the social space. Comprehension of his/her position in the society is to be understood as a social identity which results in the formation of social identity. Based on this understanding, our study of social identity will be considered as the result of the identification of a human being with the definite social communities that are important for him/her. This importance is manifested in the assimilation of group values and norms and in the performance of certain social roles (a citizen, a specialist in a particular area, etc.)

Wide spectrum of social identities include ethnic, regional, local, European, global, Soviet, political, ideological and the religious ones. The most important among them is the civil identity. The above mentioned identities can either harmonize or compete with it [9, p. 15].

As for the civil identity, we can state its formation, according to the famous Ukrainian sociologist L. Sokuryanskaya, only when "a person not only realizes his/her belonging to the State the citizen of which he/she is according to his/her status and the membership in a community of citizens connected by economic and political ties , but also recognizes all the attributes of the statehood and its symbols (the Constitution, the flag, the anthem, prominent historical dates, the outstanding personalities honored as "national heroes", etc.) and when the "area of life" common with other fellow citizens is perceived by him as Homeland "[4, p. 361]. We fully agree with the position of the researcher, however, in our opinion, civil identity is manifested in a much wider range of identities. These include, in particular, low immigration ideas and a desire to work in their own country, high importance of civil values, including such things as the "benefit to society", lawful behaviour, high level of legal culture and so on.

In the context of the Ukrainian state development the formation of civil identity of the Ukrainian population is becoming more and more important. Difficulties of civil identification are greatly influenced by those transformation processes that take place in the Ukrainian society - new social, political, economic and cultural realities complicate the processes of personal identification. Full of conflicts social space causes problems with the formation of civil identity. To a greater extent, it concerns the younger generation. However, the realization of the fact that the formation of collective identities would promote the consolidation of society, the growth of solidarity and strengthen state processes, encourages us to pay more attention to the identification and implementation of effective mechanisms that could unite the members of the society around democratic, civil, constitutional and legal values. In our opinion, the main mechanism of youth civil idenity formation is the civil socialization, the subjects of which are such social institutions as the government, education, means of mass communication, family and others. In modern circumstances, one of the most influential factors of young people's socialization is the institution of education. An important role in the formation of consciously-oriented citizens with a clear state position is given to the higher education institutions. The activities of this institution is in the center of our attention.

Studies of group identities has significantly intensified in the Ukrainian social science in the recent years.The most important researches were carried out by N. Chernysh, Y. Hrytsak, V. Sereda, V. Susak [8] who focused their attention on regional identity. The most numerous and the most debated works are the ones connected with the study of national identity (V.Arbyenina [1], B. Yevtukh [2], M. Stepyko [7], N. Shulha [10] etc.). At present the Center of civil identity research is Kharkov Sociological School (L. Sokuryanska [4; 6] V. Arbyenina, L. Hyzhnyak, A. Nikolayevska, Yu. Soroka etc.) [9]. Thus, the sociologists of V.N. Karazin National University of Kharkiv (KNU) having started to research the problem of formation of Ukrainian students' civil identity from the period of in-

dependence and continue doing it until now, have accumulated a considerable empirical base since 1990-ies.0ur analysis of the problem of young people's identity will be based on scientific researches of Kharkiv sociologists.

In our article in order to reflect the impact of such Institution as Education on the formation of social identities of students we turn to the survey «Problems of formation of civil identity of Ukrainian youth: the role of education as a factor in the consolidation of society» (project leader - prof. L. Sokuryanskaya) conducted by the direct participation of the author of this article. The survey was conducted in 2009 on a representative sample of 33 students of higher educational establishments of Ukraine. Sample size was 3058 respondents.

We focus our special attention on the students of pedagogical universities. Our approach is justified by the special social function of teachers, which they perform in society. This socio-professional group will transmit their knowledge, skills and competence to the pupils and influence on their formation of values and outlook.

To solve the set problems of our study, we have selected only the students of pedagogical orientation out of the general student body as they occupy a special niche in the system of higher education (N = 483).The research data of students survey are going to be correlated directly with the results of nationwide array.

We will start the analysis of social identities of the Ukrainian students as a whole and the pedagogically oriented ones, in particular, with the consideration of values. To understand the students values we grounded our research on the monographic studies of professor. L. Sokuryanskaya devoted to the dynamics of students aksiosystems of different generations [5]. It was extremely valuable for us.

Having applied the validated scale of terminal values by M. Rokich, we revealed value orientations of modern students (Table 1).

Table 1 Students Values

Values Student array as a whole (N = 3058) Students of Pedagogical Universities (N = 483)

Average mark (scale 1-5) Rank Average mark (scale 15) Rank

Health 4,77 1 4,79 1

Family welfare 4,74 2 4,76 2

Good relationships with others 4,51 3 4,49 3

Welfare 4,42 4-5 4,34 7

Economic independence 4,42 4-5 4,30 9

Personal freedom, independence in judgments and actions 4,40 6-7 4,35 6

Possibility to develop and realize 4,40 6-7 4,41 5

the abilities and talents

Education, knowledge 4,33 8-9 4,33 8

Getting on (well)with parents and older generation 4,33 8-9 4,42 4

Household comfort 4,31 10 4,21 10

Personal peace, no troubles 4,27 11 4,25 11

Interesting, creative work 4,23 12 4,15 13

Having enough rest, interesting entertainments 4,18 13 4,12 14

Opportunity to be useful to people 4,12 14 4,18 12

Environmental Safety 3,95 15 4,04 15

High official and social position 3,92 16 3,83 16

Participation in public life, in solving social problems 3,47 17 3,54 17

Involvement in literature and art 3,21 18 3,24 18

The results of the survey show that the leading values for the Ukrainian students are the health and the family which form a strong core value system of modern Ukrainian society. It should be noted that the third position in the students system of value orientations took such a humanistic value as «good relations with others». Such value as «getting on (well) with parents and older generation» was set on the fourth position by the students of pedagogical universities. Quite positive is the fact that the priorities for future teachers is the tolerant attitude to elders and the establishing of effective communication with the social environment.

High-ranking positions were occupied by selfrealization values that can be attributed to postmodern (using the typology of values based on civilized criterion proposed by L. Sokuryanskaya) - «the possibility to develop and realize the abilities and talents» and «personal freedom, independence of judgments and actions».

The results of our study have shown that such civil values as «oppor-tunity to be useful to people,» and «participation in public life, in solving social problems,» did not rank high, they moved to the periphery in the hierarchy of students values. However, we can not claim that these values were completely ignored by students. Average estimation indicates their relatively high importance for them.

Comparison of value hierarchy has revealed that there is no significant difference between the students of teaching profession and the students of other specialities, however, some differences were still recorded. In particular, the lower rank position is occupied by the values associated with obtaining economic independence and well-being. Obviously, those young people who want to achieve high economic success will never choose teaching as a profession as it does not provide high economic status in our state. Tension of civil values in the group under study is higher than in

other student societies. It can be proved by higher scores of such values as "an opportunity to be useful to people"(4.18) and "participation in public affairs, in solving social problems" (3.95).

In the present study, we tried to identify the space of social identities of contemporary students. The resulting distribution of opinions concerning selfidentification in the listed group and space communities is presented in Table 2.

Table 2. Space of students social identities (the table contains the answers of students who "fully" feel their _________belonging to different social communities) (%)*_______

Feel Student array as a whole (N = 3058) Students of Pedagogical Universities (N = 483)

representative of his ethnic group 38,1 42,8

citizen of Ukraine 57,2 63,7

representative of his region 49,6 48,4

representative of the city, village, town 63,3 67,1

Soviet man 6,1 6,5

European 13,4 16,7

citizen of the world 32,8 35,2

The most «prominent», i.e those that form the core of the identification can be considered as local and civil identities. However, if the attachment to their "homeland" is organic and is formed, in most cases, naturally, the perception of themselves as belonging to the «imagined» community of citizens is the consequence of the processes influenced by the social institutions including the Institute of Education the considerable role of which should be emphasized. Average positions that are more or less close to the identification core occupy regional, ethnic and global identities. Peripheral positions take European and Soviet identities.

The results obtained indicate that the students of teaching profession have a stronger degree of social identities. Positive thing is that future teachers are distinguished by substantially more " prominent " state and civil identities.

Comparison of the responses given by the pedagogical students of the first and fourth year of study indicate (Table 3), that there is no significant difference in attitudes between them.

Table 3. Civil identification of Pedagogical universities __________students of 1 and 4 year of study (%)_________________

Feel the citizen of Ukraine Year of study

1 year 4 year

Full extent 64,1 63,4

Rather experience 24,1 25,4

Hard to say definitely 8,6 6,9


Belonging to the given communities was determined by a scale: 5 - fully experience, 4 - rather experience, 3 - hard to say clearly, 2 - rather not experience, 1 - do not.

Probably not 2,0 0,9

Do not experience 1,2 3,4

Based on the obtained results we believe that education should influence more on the students' outlook in the process of their learning.

A deeper analysis of students civil identity will be made by using the method of polar profiles. We used the scale developed by Kharkiv sociologists (supervisor - prof. L. Sokuryanskaya). Respondents were asked to express the degree of their agreement with each of the pairs of opposing statements. They were chosen so that to get the idea of attitude to the status of citizen of Ukraine on the-emotional and behavioral levels. Mark "3" in the proposed scale meant maximum agreement with one of the opposing statements, "0" - neutral position.

During the processing of received data and for calculating the average indexes three-point polar scale was to be transformed into a 7-point, where a score of 1 means the maximum acceptance of negative judgment, 7 points -maximum agreement with a positive judgment. Comparative analysis of opinions of future teachers and the students of other specialities in their attitude to the status of the citizen of the state is presented in Table 4.

Table 4. Distribution of responds of pedagogical university students and the Ukrainian students as a whole concerning the degree of their consent given to each pair of statements ________________about their attitudes to the status of the citizen of Ukraine (%)*__________________________

Speciality 3 2 1 0 1 2 3 Average (scale 1-7))

1. I am proud to be the citizen of Ukraine P* 35 22 14 20 3 2 4 5,451 I am ashamed to be the citizen of Ukraine

S 25 20 15 23 6 4 6 4,975

2. I accept Ukraine as my Motherland P 53 18 13 10 2 1 3 5,989 Ukraine is a foreign country for me

S 45 19 14 12 4 2 4 5,670

3. I want to work for Ukraine P 23 28 19 20 2 4 4 5,224 I do not think it is necessary to do something for this country

S 20 24 19 23 6 4 4 5,005

4. I associate my fate and future with Ukraine P 25 22 16 23 5 5 4 5,046 I dream about escaping from this country at whatever cost

S 19 21 16 25 8 5 7 4,741

5. I deeply respect the state P 39 25 13 17 2 2 2 5,673 Symbols of Ukraine cause


in the top row are the answers of students of pedagogical universities symbolic notation of (P), at the bottom - of all students (S).

symbols of Ukraine: its anthem, flag, etc. S 31 21 16 22 4 2 4 5,306 my negative feelings

6. I am ready to defend Ukraine in case of threats to its sovereignty and integrity P 24 25 15 24 4 3 5 5,129 Sovereignty and integrity of Ukraine are not so important for me to be ready to defend them

S 22 20 16 25 6 4 7 4,859

Analysis of the opinion distribution and the average indicators of agreement level within each pair of judgments indicate that college students join those judgments that characterize their most positive attitude to the status of being the citizen of Ukraine. The most distinct and positive attitude of students is exhibited in their attitude to Ukraine as their Motherland. The second positive statement that has received significant support of the students concerns the symbols of Ukraine as an independent state. Both the above mentioned judgments are the indicators of positive emotional attitude towards Ukraine as the country and the state. Only slightly behind these positions is the number of those students who demonstrate their willingness to work for Ukraine which is treated by us as a behavioral intention. The average indicators of the third pair of statements which have emotional and evaluative colouring, namely: "I am proud to be the citizen of Ukraine" are slightly ahead.

Comparison of pedagogical university students responses and the answers of all the other students surveyed showed a more positive attitude to the proposed judgments by the first ones. Average indicators in this group regarding all the positions demonstrate a higher level of civil identity.

Though in general we have the grounds to conclude that the students' preference to positive values about the country, the state and their readiness to contribute to its development, it must not be forgotten that this position is recorded ,above all, on the verbal level. However, it should be taken into account, and it is confirmed by sociological researches, that between verbal and actual behavior may be, and often exists, a mismatch.

Summarizing the above presented material, we can say that college students are in the process of their identity formation. The research has revealed that dominated identities of the students social identity system are the local, state and civil identities. Comparison of the level of civil identity among the students of teaching profession with the students as a whole, has shown that the first ones have a higher level of its formation and manifestation. Education is an important institution that influences the identification processes of youth, but its mechanisms are not always used effectively, and this fact requires the introduction of additional measures.


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