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The development of national, ethnolinguistic and religious identity in children and adolescents living in the NIS

Objective

The objectives of the project are:
(i) To investigate, within a transnational framework, the development of national, ethnolinguistic and religious identity in children and adolescents living in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan;
(ii) To compare the identity development of these children and adolescents with the identity development of children and adolescents living in five different regions of the United Kingdom and Spain (England, Scotland, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Andalucia);
(iii) To document the similarities and differences which occur in the development of national, ethnolinguistic and religious identity in children and adolescents growing up in these different environments;
(iv) To document how children's and adolescents' self-categorizations and subjective identifications, and how their attitudes, beliefs and feelings concerning national, ethnolinguistic and religious groups, vary as a function of:
(a) their social background (as defined by their own nationality, ethnolinguistic group, religion, geographical location, and parents' demographic origins);
(b) their contact with members of other national, ethnolinguistic and religious groups;
(v) To formulate a general model of the social and psychological processes which operate in this developmental domain, focussing particularly upon the relationship between the cognitive and the affective components of children's psychological functioning, and specifying the principal psychological parameters within which children acquire their national, ethnolinguistic and religious identities.

In order to achieve these objectives, one main study and a series of satellite studies will be conducted. In the main study, data will be collected from 8 different groups of children living in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan: Russian children living in Smolensk; Russian children living in Moscow; Ukrainian children living in Kharkov; Russian children living in Kharkov; Georgian children living in Tbilisi; children living in Tbilisi who are receiving their education in Russian; Azeri Muslim children living in Baku who are receiving their education in Azeri; Azeri Muslim children living in Baku who are receiving their education in both Azeri and Russian. Within each of these 8 groups, data will be collected from 4 cohorts of children aged 6, 9, 12 and 15 years old. 60 children at each age from within each group will be tested, the total sample size being 1920 children. Measures of the following variables will be taken from each child: (i) The children's self-categorizations and subjective identifications at a variety of levels, including their national, ethnolinguistic and religious identities. (ii) The children's beliefs about the members of their own ingroups. (iii) The children's feelings about the members of their own ingroups;
(iv) The children's beliefs about selected outgroups;
(v) The children's feelings about selected outgroups;
(vi) The children's contact with members of other national, ethnolinguistic and religious groups. (vii) Biographical and demographic information about the children and the children's parents. The data collected from these children will be compared with data, which has already been collected from 1700 children living in England, Scotland, the Basque Country, Catalonia and Andalucia. The data will be used to identify the similarities and differences, which occur in the development of national, ethnolinguistic and religious identity in children and adolescents growing up in different social environments.

In addition to this main study, a series of satellite studies will be conducted. Some of these studies will use other methods of investigation (including open-ended qualitative interviews, written narratives, projective drawings and play biographies) to explore the more subjective aspects of identity development. Satellite studies will also investigate possible sources of children's representations of national and ethnic groups (including folklore and history textbooks) and identity development in children belonging to special minority groups (including Nekrasovtsy Cossacks, Crimean Tatars, and Azeris living in rural Georgia).

The data from both the main study and the satellite studies will be used to formulate a general model of the social and psychological processes which are responsible for the development of national, ethnolinguistic and religious identity in children and adolescents.

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Coordinator

University of Surrey

Address

United Kingdom

Participants (8)

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Azerbaijan Pedagogical Institute for Russian Language and Literature

Azerbaijan

Institute of Psychology

Georgia

Kharkov State University

Ukraine

Russian Academy of Sciences

Russia

Universidad de Girona

Spain

University of Dundee

United Kingdom

University of Malaga

Spain

University of the Basque Country

Spain

Project information

Grant agreement ID: INTAS-1997-01363

  • Start date

    1 December 1998

  • End date

    30 November 2001

Funded under:

IC-INTAS

Coordinated by:

University of Surrey

United Kingdom