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ISSN - 2074-6857

Dzherelievskaya M.A., Vizgina A.V. (2017). Socio-cultural differences in the self-descriptions of two groups of Azerbaijanian students learning in the Russian and Azerbaijani languages. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 107-123

Abstract

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<b>Background</b>: The dimension of individualism-collectivism is regarded as one of the most important cultural factors that influence a person’s self-consciousness, and help shape his/her sense of self as independent or interdependent. Moreover, studies support the conclusion that the salience of both tendencies may vary not only within a single national culture (depending on the place of residence, language environment, etc.), but also on the level of the individual self (depending on the current situation). In our research we have assumed that the language environment (receiving education in one’s native or a foreign language) acts as a socio-cultural factor affecting the self-concept of students of the same nationality–more specifically, the intensity of their individualistic and collectivistic characteristics.
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<b>Objective</b>: Finding socio-cultural differences in self-image between two groups of Azerbaijanian students (learning in Russian and Azerbaijanian, respectively).
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<b>Design</b>: The sample included one hundred students from Baku colleges and universities equally divided into two groups. Participants in the first group were studying in Azerbaijani while those in the second group were learning in Russian. We collected data in the form of open-ended self-descriptions. We examined these texts using contentanalysis procedures. Then we calculated correlations between certain defined characteristics for each group.
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<b>Results</b>: The self-descriptions produced by students learning in Azerbaijanian contained the following features: norm compliance as a significant factor in emotional wellbeing; self-criticism related to negative feelings and expectation of outside criticism; the prevalence of self-justification and bravado as basic forms of psychological defense, combined with the lack of self-enhancement; and focus on society and interpersonal relations affecting the respondents’ inner feelings. The second group’s (those learning in Russian) self-descriptions featured positive self-esteem as an important component of emotional well-being. Self-criticism was not associated with negative feelings and others’ judgments. In the texts of Russian-speaking students there was a tendency to use self-embellishment as a way of self-enhancement. This group was less inclined to focus on society.
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<b>Conclusions</b>: The characteristics of these two groups’ self-depictions gravitated toward two different self-constructs: independent (for those learning in Russian) and interdependent (for the participants learning in Azerbaijanian), the division being in line with the individualistic and collectivistic culture, respectively.
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About the authorsDzherelievskaya, Maria A.; Vizgina, Anna V.

ThemesSocial psychology

PDF: http://psychologyinrussia.com/volumes/pdf/2017_4/psych_4_2017_10.pdf

Pages:  107-123

DOI:  10.11621/pir.2017.0410

Keywords:  Self-attitude, self-consciousness, open-ended self-descriptions, psychological defense strategies, socio-cultural differences in self-descriptions

Downloads: 52

To cite this article: Dzherelievskaya M.A., Vizgina A.V. (2017). Socio-cultural differences in the self-descriptions of two groups of Azerbaijanian students learning in the Russian and Azerbaijani languages. Psychology in Russia: State of the Art, 10 (4), 107-123

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