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Socio-psychological consequences of adaptation to changing cultural and socio-economic conditions in the post-Soviet space

Priority areas of development: humanitarian

Aim: Analysis of the socio-cultural consequences of cultural and socio-economic transformations in the post-Soviet space

Used methods: socio-psychological survey, analysis of secondary data (ESS data, “Medialogia” source data). The analysis was carried out by implementing modern methods of mathematical statistics: Confirmatory Factor Analysis, Structural Equation Modeling, Multivariate analysis of variance.

Research Empirical Basis: the results of surveys in Russia, as well as in other countries (i.e. Latvia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Greece), served as an empirical basis for the study. In order to implement the project's tasks, the laboratory staff, who were divided in several autonomous research teams, interviewed a total of 11935 participants: among them, 3810 were based in various regions of Russia, 650 in Latvia, 650 in Azerbaijan, 6356 in Kyrgyzstan, and 469 in Greece. The analysis of secondary data was carried out using the ESS database (containing 2484 respondents in the 2012 database), as well as the data stored in “Medialogia”.

Results. The conducted studies, examining the transmission and transformation of values and identities in different sociocultural contexts, showed that the significance of intergenerational differences in value preferences among Russians was higher in interregional comparison (CFD, NCFD, Latvia, Azerbaijan) than in the comparison with the status of ethnic groups. Along with this, the classical cohort differences (i.e. higher preferences for Openness to change and Self-enhancement values among adolescents vs higher preferences of Conservation and Self-transcendence values among parents) were confirmed. This allowed us to suggest that the impact of a broad socioeconomic and cultural context (in particular, the level of modernization in the region) on value changes was more significant in comparison with the status of ethnic groups. The importance of the status of ethnic groups was highlighted in the study which examined the consequences of intergenerational cultural transmission for the maintenance of psychological well-being among youth of both ethnic majority and minority (in the case of Russian and Ossetian families residing in the Republic of North Ossetia-A). The authors defined a set of values, the successful transmission of which contributed to or hindered the maintenance of life satisfaction and self-esteem among the younger generation.

Intergroup differences in the intergenerational transmission of social identities and the impact of successful transmission of identities on the indicators of psychological well-being were revealed in ethnic majority and minority families. According to this study, the national Russian identity played the most important role for the maintenance of interethnic peace among members of all ethnic groups in the regions of Russia which were considered; among the minorities (in particular, the Russians in the republics of the North Caucasus) high levels of republican and regional identities were important as well. National disidentification among the members of the indigenous population of the North Caucasus was identified as a destructive factor for the interethnic relations. According to the results, the perceived discrimination, acted by the dominant population against Russians, is positively related to the incompatibility of their ethnic (Russian) and regional (Caucasian) identities. This incompatibility did not contribute to the choice of the integration strategy, but it led to the choice of the separation strategy; no relationship with the assimilation strategy was found. The results of the research conducted in Latvia allowed formulating conclusions about the direct links between different types of social identity (ethnic, civic, place identity), the choice of acculturation strategies (integration, separation, assimilation) and the indicators of psychological well-being. Moreover, the research allowed us to suggest some conclusive notes on the mediating role of choice of acculturation strategy between social identity and the indicators of adaptation success.

A number of questions concerning the role of basic values in life of both individual and society was studied. In particular, we examined the role of individual values and motivation in a variety of genres of literary creativity. The research disclosed the heuristic potential of the approach to creativity differentiated into micro-domains and allowed to reveal the differences in the value preferences both within and between the groups of "poets" and "prose writers" in terms of influence of different values and types of motivation on creativity.

The relationship between basic values and electoral behavior was also examined. This study showed that the key opposition associated with the results of the presidential elections in Russia in 2012 was organized around the value axis Conservation- Openness to change. At the same time, voting for the majority of candidates (four out of five) was related to the values of Conservation, which might suggest an absence of fundamental differences in the basic values transmitted by the Russian politicians.

A study of the relationship between individual values and the acceptability of corruption (presenting the case of Russia and Greece) indicated the way individual's values and approval of corruption behavior were connected in these two cultures. We found that values of Conservation and Self-transcendence were negatively related to the approval of corruption behavior, and the value of Self-enhancement, on the contrary, was positively related to it in both cultures.

The authors of the project began to explore the socio-psychological mechanisms of intergenerational transmission of values. Therefore, intra-familial social capital was considered as one of the key conditions of the transmission. For the study purposes, conceptualization and operationalization of this specific phenomenon were carried out through a specialized research toolkit assessing intra-familial social capital, which was developed based on critical research analysis and self-built theoretical constructs. In the project report, the authors presented the results of their work on validating the self-built methodology for assessing intra-familial social capital and determined the prospects for future research on its role in the transmission of various values within the family. 

A study of the impact of poverty in adulthood and childhood on personal psychological characteristics of the individual covered a separate but complementary research area of the project. The outcome of this research was the rationalization of a set of individual psychological characteristics, which were determined by the experience of being in poverty during childhood or adulthood. Among those characteristics, the most relevant were individual values, trust, self-control, self-esteem, self-efficacy and life satisfaction.

Important results were achieved by studying the connection between social cohesion and individual psychological characteristics in the case of the residents of administrative districts of Kyrgyzstan. This research showed that after taking into account the relevant individual factors (gender, education and ethnic identity) and social factors (economic situation, level of modernization of the district and demographic situation), the level of social cohesion in these areas remains significantly associated with a higher level of conscientiousness (Big Five personality traits). Thus, a population characterized by a higher level of conscientiousness would live in a region with a higher level of social cohesion, and the conscientiousness would be expressed through competence, obedience, desire to achieve a goal, self-discipline and prudence.

Since migration is one of the key consequences of socio-economic transformations in the post-Soviet space, the project examined the strategies for migrants’ representation in Russian public discourse, as well as the relationship between the dissonance of acculturation expectations within the host population and the support for discrimination of migrants in the socioeconomic sphere. Examining the strategy of migrants’ coverage in Russian public discourse allowed us to note the ambiguity underlying their representation in Russian media and the emergence of a line of equality in highlighting the migration phenomenon and migrant/refugee related issues. Moreover, the dominant discourse was based on the use of mechanisms for constructing the migrants’ image as “being different”. The results showed that discrimination of migrants in social and economic spheres was positively connected with the discordance between the host population’s assumptions about desirable and real acculturation strategies of the migrants, and negatively connected with the adoption of a multiculturalism ideology and the readiness for intergroup contact. The adoption of the multiculturalism ideology moderated (weakened) the link between the support of migrants’ discrimination and the discordance of acculturation representations, but it did not moderate the connection between the support for discrimination of migrants and the willingness to participate in intergroup contacts.

Degree of implementation, recommendations for implementation or outcomes of implementation of the research. The results that have been presented and discussed across these studies can be applied in forecasting the consequences of socioeconomic and political transformations, developing programs for the optimization of intergroup (interethnic) relations. In the field of social policies, they can be used for assessing the consequences of reforms specifically designed to care for vulnerable groups within the population and in order to optimize existing migration policies. In legal and legislative spheres, these results may help predict the attitudes of the population towards changes in migration policies, their foreseeable adaptation to the measures taken to fight corruption and poverty, as well as the assessment of their effectiveness. In the field of media management, the results could be used to assess different strategies for presenting news with the underlying prospect of making an impact on the audience.

The results are presented in fourteen publications, including six articles, published in international peer-reviewed journals, which are accessible in the WoS and Scopus databases (Q1-Q2); four papers have been accepted for publication at time of writing.


Татарко А. Н., Миронова А. А. Electoral Choices and Basic Values of Russians / Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ. Series WP BRP "PSYCHOLOGY". 2017. No. 72. 
Dubrov D. Family Social Capital as a Predictor of Parents and Adolescents’ Subjective Well-Being (the Case of Russia) / Высшая школа экономики. Series PSY "Psychology". 2017. No. 75. 
Козлова М. А. Моральные основания социальной политики в педагогическом дискурсе // Вестник Православного Свято-Тихоновского гуманитарного университета. Серия 4: Педагогика. Психология. 2016. Т. 4. 
Cross-cultural psychology. Critical concepts in psychology. 4 volumes. London : Routledge/Taylor & Francis, 2017. 
Boehnke K. Zur Ähnlichkeit rechtsextremer Verhaltenstendenzen von Studierenden und ihren Eltern // Zeitschrift fuer Familienforschung. 2017. Vol. 29. No. 3. P. 340-354. doi
Berry J. W., Hou F. Acculturation, Discrimination and Wellbeing among Second Generation of Immigrants in Canada // International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 2017. Vol. 61. P. 29-39. doi
Berry J. W. Migration and intercultural relations in the Caribbean // Caribbean Journal of Psychology. 2017. No. 1. P. 97-109. 
Grigoryev D., van d. V. F. Acculturation profiles of Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium and their socio-economic adaptation // Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 2017. Vol. 38. No. 9. P. 797-814. doi
Breugelmans S., Plantinga A., Zeelenberg M., Poluektova O., Efremova M. The elusive constellations of poverty. // Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 2017. No. 40. P. 19-20. doi
Козлова М. А. МОРАЛЬНЫЕ ОСНОВАНИЯ СОЦИАЛЬНОЙ ПОЛИТИКИ В ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКОМ ДИСКУРСЕ // Вестник Православного Свято-Тихоновского гуманитарного университета. Серия 4: Педагогика. Психология. 2017. № 46. C. 34-47. 
Tatarko A., Mironova A. A., van d. V. F. Ethnic Diversity and Social Capital in the Russian Context // Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 2017. Vol. 48. No. 4. P. 542-559. doi
Häuberer J., Tatarko A. Network Composition, Individual Social Capital and Culture: Comparing Traditional and Post-Modernized Cultures // Sociological Research Online. 2017. Vol. 22. No. 2. P. 1-20. doi
Berry J. W. Acculturation and Identity, in: Textbook of cultural psychiatry.: Cambridge University Press, 2018. С. 185-193. 
Berry J. W., Hou Feng, Schellenberg G. Patterns and determinants of immigrants’ sense of belonging to Canada and their source country // Ethnic and Racial Studies. 2018. Vol. 41. No. 9. P. 1612-1631. doi
Kozlova M. A., Simonova O. A. Identity and Work Ethic of Peasants in the Context of the Post-Soviet Socio-economic Transformation, in: Changing Values and Identities in Post-Communist World. Switzerland : Springer, 2018. С. 405-419.