Volume:7, Issue: 3

Dec. 15, 2015

In This Category
Education Reforms and Civic Identity Construction in Russia
Rapoport, Anatoli [about]
Anthropologists and sociologists know that constructing a new civic identity is a complex phenomenon that requires a certain level of consensus about at least the most basic cultural, social, and ideological norms in the society. The convoluted process becomes even thornier if it is complicated by almost concurrent efforts to develop strong ethnic and cultural identity within a dominant ethnic group in a multi-ethic, multicultural society. This is exactly what has been going on in Russia for the last decade. The vector of civic identity construction that potentially leads to a more unified society and the vector of ethnic identity construction that leads to fragmentation of a society have brought Russia to a dangerous crossroads. In a free democratic society such complex problems would become the focus of an active national dialogue. In an authoritarian society that Russia has gradually become, problems are addressed in an authoritarian manner – there is only one correct solution and it always comes from the top leadership. The purposes of this paper are a) to analyze dominant tendencies in Russia’s education that influence the development of civic identity, b) to discuss specific themes and discourses, used in constructing civic identity in Russia, and c) to demonstrate that identity construction has been determined by ideological paradigms that reflectively shifted in response to new internal and external challenges, both real and imaginary.

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