Psychology chair, Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University, Yerevan, Armenia
The study of ethnocultural identity is remarkably up to date when considering the interactions of different countries, the ethnic groups studied within the limits of mono- and multicultural space, and the processes of acculturation, assimilation, and others. Ethnocultural identity is based on the desires of the individual and the nation viewed integrally; it is achieved in substituted forms through integration in the cultural and symbolic space of society. The aim of this article is to analyze the meaning-of-life and value orientations of Armenian and Russian students in the Russian Federation and the Republic of Armenia. In order to study ethnocultural identity as part of the self-concept we carried out a study with students at the Russian-Armenian (Slavonic) University (Yerevan, Armenia) and the South Federal University (Rostov-on-Don, Russia): at the initial stage we conducted two focus groups (the number of respondents in each group was 10); at the second stage we conducted a study the number of respondents was 160. When the Armenian and Russian youth described their ethnicity, high values of social self — in particular, national civic identity — correlated with high and medium levels of meaning-of-life orientations. Armenians and Russians in title ethnos and in the associated diaspora had a number of similarities and differences in value orientations. The majority of respondents in the focus groups noted their positive emotions connected with being Armenian or Russian. The ethnic Russians in Armenia pointed out the ease of communication with Russian speakers, regardless of ethnicity, but noted the difficulty of social interaction because of their insufficient knowledge of the Armenian language. The formation and development of ethnic self-consciousness may be carried out at two levels: understanding the values and ideas of ethnicity and assessing the ethnocultural and ethnopsychological features of one’s ethnic group. The ethnic identity of Armenians in Russia has been transformed, and they are now characterized by similar values as ethnic Armenians in Armenia. Ethnic Armenians and ethnic Russians are in continuous interaction in Armenia and in Russia. This interaction is a key to positive ethnic attitudes in both groups as evidenced by their tolerance for other ethnic groups and their solidarity and it enriches the representatives of both ethnic groups at the regulatory value level, making them carriers of both culture.
Keywords: ethnocultural identity, meaning-of-life orientations, value orientations