tom XXIV / numer 4Maria Alekseevna Abramova, The problem of inter-ethnic interaction and the culture of perception of the mass media

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The problem of formation of culture of interethnic interaction for Russia was actual throughout its centuriesold history. Features of the creation of the state, which is initially multinational, caused polyethnicity as a special characteristic of society, and multiculturalism as a property of Russian culture (Abramova, 2016a). The appeal to this problem today is actualized both by the intensification of international contacts – political, economic, educational, cultural, etc. – and by the intensification of migration processes. Although the dominant number of migrants is represented by residents of the former Soviet Union, who had long-term contact with Russia and neighboring countries, it should be understood that people coming to Russia are a generation of new, not always remembering the history of international education in the USSR (Abramova, 2016b). In the same way, over the past 30 years a generation has been formed in our country, which basically did not have the possibility of long-term interaction with the cultures of the peoples living in the post-Soviet space. In this regard, it is necessary to search for effective ways and means of forming a culture of inter-ethnic interaction.

The second aspect of the problem is that in addition to the intensification of intercultural and interethnic contacts that require formed communication skills of the individual, there is a danger of aggressive and provocative influence of the media. As a result, the development of a culture of perception of media texts becomes one of the guarantors of human security and preservation of his identity (Abramova, 2012).

Focusing on the above two components of this problem, namely the formation of a culture of interethnic interaction in the conditions of extensive growth of mass media products that affect the formation of the worldview of the modern individual makes it urgent to consider the possibilities of using media education.

Thus, the object of research in the article is the process of formation of the culture of interethnic interaction. As a subject is media education as a means of its formation.

The research methodology is based on the application of systemic and sociocultural approaches. Methods of research are critical and retrospective analysis of sources on the topic of research, analysis of statistical data.

Results and discussion

The emphasis on the fact that the modern generation has not passed through the system of international education is not accidental. It is important to realize that the adopted in our time critical attitude to the history of the USSR, in terms of the consolidation of peoples in the country has done a lot of work. The first documents of the Soviet state on national policy (“Declaration of the rights of the peoples of Russia” of 1917, “Constitution of the RSFSR” of 1918, “Declaration on the formation of the USSR”, “Constitution of the USSR” of 1924) proclaimed a voluntary and honest Union of the peoples of Russia, the right of the peoples of Russia to free self-determination, equality and sovereignty of peoples, the abolition of all national and national-religious privileges and restrictions, the free development of national minorities and ethnographic groups. The same approach is implemented in the USSR Constitution of 1977 (article of the law 70). Thus, the model of Soviet national policy was based on the understanding of the nation as an ethno social community (a high degree of integration of ethnic groups), in contrast to other (primarily Western European) models, where the nation is considered as a citizen in the state (low degree of integration of ethnic groups). The peoples of the USSR had the right to free development of language, national culture; their equal rights in the spheres of politics, economy, social and cultural relations were recognized.

The policy of equalizing the levels of development of ethnic groups in all spheres of life was carried out, which partly supported the idea of international education proclaiming the priority of social over national. As G.E. Glezerman notes: “the Socialist way of life is an international concept, which, despite all its national peculiarities and peculiar traditions, is characterized by fundamental common features” (1974, s. 106). “A concentrated expression of the international had become a qualitatively new social and international community, cemented by a unity of economic interests, ideology and political objectives; having a common Homeland and territory; and one based on public ownership of the economy; culture, socialist in content and national in form”, – adds V.H. Harnahoev (1988, s. 12). The very concept of “national” rather reflected the ideas of the nation, rather than a particular people (ethnic group). For example, M.S. Dzhunusov (1970) defined the national as different from the national-specific, which became dominant since the early 90-ies of the twentieth century. Harnahoev considered the national as special, but includes international, social class and national-specific: “It cannot be considered identical to the concept of »national« and national-specific”. National is formed, on the one hand, on the basis of international, and on the other – those ideas, traditions, customs that reflect the specific historical (socio-economic, geographical and other conditions of national existence, characteristic of only one nation) (1988, s. 13).

In the conditions of the USSR the question of formation of culture of interethnic interaction by the state was considered through a prism of formation of international views, development of the General culture of the individual which level reflected the saved-up knowledge, system of civil values and ethical norms, experience of interaction, ability to organize collective work, responsibility, respect for companions and intolerance to the nationalist statements raising one ethnic group over another.

Media education, as we would now call it, contributed to the formation of international beliefs and partly to ideological work. In the USSR in 20-e G. the twentieth century was published about the influence on education of children: cinema, radio, printed materials. Thus, A. Dovzhenko commented on the possibilities of cinema: “We are teachers for millions. Therefore, I ask you not to forget, among other tasks, the task of pedagogical character in each picture, regardless of the genre, content and author’s direction” (1966, s. 126).

I.A. Rudenko (1986) and M.I. Holmova (1985) in the mid-80s of the XX century, analyzing the history of media education in the USSR in their dissertations, showed what a huge impact on the Patriotic and international education of children had radio broadcasting and Soviet journalism, which began for many not only with the products of periodicals published by the state, but also with those school Newspapers, which were made by children themselves. They needed to have skills to identify the ideological component of the whole work, the author’s idea, the language and artistic media, understanding the historical context of creation, the idea of audience to which is directed a product of mass media, development of critical thinking that allows to separate the private from the shared and on this basis to justify their own position. Thus, if we consider media education as a way to develop research skills in the analysis and creation of media texts, in this context, media education began to develop in Russia not in the late twentieth century, but in the 20s of the twentieth century in the USSR.

Thus, if we consider media education as a way to develop research skills, analysis and creation of media texts (the formation of skills to identify the ideological component of the whole work, the author’s idea, the development of language and artistic means, understanding the historical context of the creation of the work, understanding the audience to which the work is directed, the development of critical thinking, allowing to separate the private from the General and on this basis to justify their own position), in this context, media education began to develop in Russia not at the end of the twentieth century, and in the 20-ies of XX century in the USSR.

The restructuring has created the conditions for ethnic Renaissance. The appeal to the origins of many peoples living in Russia actualized the question of the formation of ethnic self-consciousness and ethnic identity. At the same time, in 1992, the Law “On Education” was changed, in which instead of implementing the model of international education, a multicultural model found its place (Ibragimova, 2003). The ideological component of the education system was also removed, which created conditions for the formation of supposedly more democratic in the views of the doctrine.

In fact, freedom in interpreting the history of both the country as whole and individual peoples has received very contradictory forms of implementation. The revision by the republics and regions of the ratio of the number of hours for the study of the region and the country history, the development of their own text-books, sometimes reflecting only fragmentary information about the events, aggravating negative information about some and exalting the achievements of other peoples, the active planting of ideas about the “colonization of territories”, the right and the need to revise the borders, the freedom of state self-realization of certain territories – all this as a result was developed through active propaganda within the educational process. Thus, the ideology allegedly removed from education actually returned as propaganda of absolutely other principles and values promoting not multicultural education, but rather disintegration of the people.

Of course, from the point of view of the realization of the needs of peoples about the knowledge of their history, strengthening the regional component somewhere and made sense, but here we are rather faced with the negative result of the phenomenon of “human factor”. For an active, motivated teacher who worked in a Soviet school, well-versed in information about the reserves of regional and regional museums, it has never been a big problem to organize a lesson on local material. And the programs have always had the opportunity for free lessons, excursions. Moreover, regardless of specialization, each teacher had to carry out a plan for moral, aesthetic, environmental and Patriotic education, which involved various means, including presenting works of mass media. On the contrary, in the post-perestroika period, against the background of unexpected opportunities for different interpretations of history, the problem of possible infringement of rights and freedoms has become more acute, which is confirmed by the debate about the problem of teaching the basics of religion in the school, the difficulties encountered in using Darwin’s theory to explain the evolution, etc.

Thus, the main problem, both in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods consisted in values, motivation and level of formation of critical thinking, historical and ethnic consciousness of the teacher, and, as a result – his pupils. But the situation of the 1990s, thanks to the changes in the Law “On Education”, was aggravated by the active promotion of the idea of sovereignty through the promotion of multicultural education in educational institutions, which was sometimes implemented through the idea of ethnocentrism.

It should be noted that the formation of ethnic consciousness and self-consciousness goes through all stages – from the awareness of the ethnic culture of its ethnic community, the recognition of the subject of ethnic community and the formation of social and moral self-esteem of ethnicity, which is based on the knowledge of culture and history of its and other ethnic groups and is manifested in the demonstration of tolerance. And all this in general causes the formation of a culture of inter-ethnic interaction, which is a very important condition for maintaining stability in the country.

Each of the stages in the model of formation of ethnic consciousness reflects different levels of reflection and self-reflection of the individual:

  • Egocentric: declaration of ethnicity, lack of awareness about the peculiarities of the cultural genesis of their ethnic group, perhaps a hidden negative attitude both to their own and to other people;
  • Ethnocentric: “denial of the other” (isolation, separation), “protection” (sense of superiority), substitution of “patriotism” for “nationalism”;
  • Neutrality: the formation of a universal model of behavior, the attempt of a detached observation of both their own and other ethnos (unwillingness to get396 strona acquainted with the culture of another, as “we are all the same”, the model of pseudo-cosmopolitan man);
  • Ethno-relativistic: adaptive model of behavior, recognition of the culture of its ethnic group on the basis of knowledge of its features and history; respect for the ethno-cultural differences of others;
  • Integrative: multicultural model, recognition of the culture of their ethnic group, knowledge of the cultural traditions and customs of representatives of another ethnic group, respect and understanding of the culture of other peoples (Abramova, 2006).

Presented in the model the result of each of the stages of formation of ethnic identity can also be considered as a type that represents a specific result of the individual’s development of information, the development of his moral and ethical ideas, communication skills, reflection and self-reflection due to the level of historical consciousness, knowledge of history, the ability to perform retrospective analysis, to detect cause-effect relationships that lead to conclusions about the development of history.

E.I. Fedorinov identifies the following stages of formation of historical consciousness (2008):

  • Ordinary (accumulated human experience, vague, emotionally colored memories are not characterized by consistency and completeness);
  • Mythological (not systematic knowledge of history, the presence of myth-making elements and naive assessments);
  • Fragmented (submissions are still sketchy, chaotic, not ordered in chronological terms, are associated with individual episodes in the history of the often subjective);
  • System (scientific justification, understanding of the driving forces of the historical process, the ability to use even basic knowledge for the analysis of specific political situations, the presence of a systematic view of the past and its relationship with the present, understanding of trends in society in the future).

The result of the formed historical consciousness of the person is not only a high level of reflection, but the formation of his national dignity, respect for the historical past, a balanced attitude to his ethnic group and his country, which should reduce the level of conflict and promote the harmonization of intercultural interaction.

Thus, the formation of attitudes towards their own and other ethnic groups is due to the analysis, and not anticipated by existing attitudes, causing the entire subsequent process of analysis only increased mythologization of history, perception of ethnic psychological characteristics of ethnic groups, which becomes a precursor to the formation of stereotypes, negative attitudes and prejudices.

To pass all stages of formation of historical and ethnic consciousness and self-consciousness it is very important to create conditions for carrying out full-fledged research, including products of mass media. Especially considering that many modern media texts are formed not on the basis of a detached research position, but perform the function of “debunking myths”, in fact creating new ones. For example, to deny the thesis of free education in the USSR, a number of publications (Paid and free education, 2013) were made about the tuition fees charged from 1940 to 1956. In some publications, there are even photos of documents confirming the payment for six months of study at the University in the amount of 75 rubles. Thus, the annual payment was 150 rubles. Only the authors did not indicate that the monthly minimum wage even in state farms was in 1940 219 rubles, and by 1955 increased to 466 rubles. The highest average wages were the boatmen and was in 1940, 409 rubles, and in 1955 it increased to 906 rubles (Statistical table the CSB, 2003). Also, the analysis does not reflect the fact that training in the direction of organizations, regions, etc. was free. There was a special list of ethnic groups that were exempt from payment, as well as orphans. Entering after the 7th grade in technical schools, vocational schools received lower secondary and secondary education free of charge, and moreover, stood up for “full Board”. Thus, the state solved the issue of the need for training of workers. But for those who after graduating from College, having already acquired a profession, retained the desire to enter the University, such an opportunity was provided.

The argument for feebased education is also made in relation to school education. But not all articles specified that the fee was charged from 8 to 10 class, and most of the youth to 1940, stayed at the level of a five-year education. And it was not condemned in any way from society as work of the worker was in honor, and his salary allowed supporting a family. The transition to universal 7-year education was carried out in the USSR only in 1950–1956 (General education, 1993). As counter-arguments about paid education, it is not indicated that the whole system of additional education (sections, clubs, and additional classes with a teacher) in schools did not imply payment. Perhaps because the social policy that existed at that time in relation to providing children with a wide range of opportunities for comprehensive development did not fit into the concept of the authors of articles on the formation of a negative attitude to the history of education in the USSR.

Thus, the focus on the collection of funds, averaging 5% of annual income, for the level of education, which was not mandatory for all at a more detailed examination looks no more like the ideological attitude of the authors, ignoring that these funds went to the maintenance of school and University libraries, the provision of free textbooks and repair of buildings, for which at the end of the twentieth century levied uncontrolled payment, starting with students 1 classes and not always taking into account the income of parents.

We could give similar examples of the creation of new media myths about the history of interethnic relations in the USSR, but in connection with the sensitivity of this topic we would like to refrain. The above example is one of the most striking examples of manipulating statistics and creating negative assessments of various facts in the history of the country.

In conclusion, I would like to note that despite the long history of media education in Russia, the need to use it as a tool for the development of critical thinking, the formation of ethno-historical consciousness of the individual, without which it is impossible to form a culture of interethnic interaction, is now extremely important. An increase opportunity for teachers and students in the use of various information technologies for the analysis and creation of your own products of the mass media requires to form a culture of media information use.


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PDF Abstrakt

Rocznik: 2019


Numer: 4

Tytuł: The problem of inter-ethnic interaction and the culture of perception of the mass media

Autorzy: Maria Alekseevna Abramova

PFP: 391–399

DOI: 10.14656/PFP20190401