Saratov State University,
Background. The social activity of young people is the driving force behind socio-economic and socio-political processes in society. It is due to their social activity that positive changes are taking place in different spheres of life.
Objective. We set out to analyze the preferences and predictors of the directions of young peoples social activity. Design. Our study involved 251 people from the Saratov region, Russia, of median age (M) 20.11, SD = 1.2 (41% male). To measure their basic assumptions, we used the Janoff-Bulmann World Assumptions Scale (WAS); their identity characteristics were measured with the Kuhn and McPartland Twenty Statements Test (TST) “Who am I?” To evaluate their social behavior preferences, we used 11 unique proprietary scales which we developed on the basis of a pilot study with relevant theoretical validity.
Results. Our study found that youth preferences for various forms of social activity can be divided into two main clusters: organizational-social and individual-personal. Our results revealed that individual-personal activity had a more complex structure, with well-expressed intensity, than the organizational-social form of social activity Young people’s assumptions most strongly condition variations in their preferences for educational-developmental, socio-political, recreational-cognitive, and self-developmentrelated spheres of activity. The most influential predictors of social activity in young people are their assumptions regarding their own significance, their ability to manage events, and their luckiness. We established that an individual’s basic beliefs do not influence variations in their preferences for mass cultural, religious, creative, and informal activities in a group. Young people’s sense of identity influences variations in their preferred types of social activity. The most influential predictors of social activity preferences were negative personal, personal, and family-related identities. Preferences for social activity are less influenced by gender, religious, and ethnic identity, as well as by identity based on activity and appearance.
Conclusion. We present some conclusions regarding the strong determination of the first cluster (political, religious and voluntary types of activity) by identity, and the second cluster (ranging from educational to recreational cognitive activity) by assumptions about the world.
Keywords: social activity; world assumptions; identity; young people