The analysis of tolerance attitudes among youth (based on studies of attitudes of youth in East Kazakhstan)

Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №7 - 2015

Authors:
Lipin Nikolaj, Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics, Ukraine
Zavalko Nadezhda, S. Amanzholov East Kazakhstan State University, Kazakhstan
Nabiyev Ersain, Kazakh American Free University, Kazakhstan

In today's world, Kazakhstan is viewed as a successful state with a stable political system, characterized by social stability and well- balanced relation among people of different ethnicity and religious affiliation. President Nazarbayev in his address to the people of Kazakhstan “Kazakhstan Strategy 2050” said: “Civil peace and interethnic harmony is our main value. Peace and harmony, dialogue of cultures and religions in our multinational country is rightly recognized as the global benchmark. One of the main achievements of the national policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan since independence is the creation of the Kazakhstan model of interethnic unity and consent, which is essential for the implementation of social, economic and political reforms in the country”.

Despite the fact that there are no serious conflicts in Kazakhstan, which is home for more than 140 ethnic groups and 40 religious denominations, it is especially important to focus on the harmonization of cross-cultural relationships of people with different social, intellectual and religious culture. Retaining national cultural identity of the various nations and ethnic groups is a key factor in the implementation of the idea of a holistic cultural space in Kazakhstan and a part of the national policy of the country.

Ethnic, demographic and religious composition of the population of Kazakhstan confers a special significance to the development of culture of tolerance among young people. One of the main risks identified in the State Concept of Youth Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan adopted on 27 February 2013 is the ability to "fall under the influence of internal and external destructive forces, recruiting young people to realize their political goals. Penetration of the extremists’ ideas into youth environment may provoke illegal actions and disrupt interethnic, intercultural and interfaith harmony in society.  under these circumstances, the process of socialization of young people, their involvement into social and political life must be based on the values of patriotism, unity of the nation, tolerance, etc. “Young people of the country, which is a platform for the dialogue between cultures, religions and civilizations, a bridge between East and West should be more than anybody else interested in spreading the culture of peace and harmony”.

That is why the task of building a culture of tolerant attitudes in the process of interpersonal interaction among young people of the Republic of Kazakhstan is an essential part of the social, political and pedagogical work with young people.

In April - October 2015 a group of researchers working on the project “Development of culture of tolerant attitudes in the process of interpersonal communication among young people of the Republic of Kazakhstan” made a survey measuring attitudes of different categories of Kazakh youth to the issues of tolerant relations at various levels. For this reason, we also included this question into our surveys and interviews with focus groups as a quantitative research tool to measure attention to the issue of inter-ethnic relations on the part of young people of the East Kazakhstan region. Figure 1 shows fluctuations in the attention paid to the issues of interethnic relations by the young people of the East Kazakhstan region.

Figure 1. Are you concerned about the problem of tolerance in the East Kazakhstan region at the social, personal and ethnic levels?

existence of some groups of young people concerned about the issues of tolerant attitudes at the social, personal and ethnic levels. Data of Figure 3 shows the growing interest of young people to the issue of inter-ethnic relations, which proves underscoring the relevance of the project.

The research also included a survey, which studied the peculiarities of tolerant attitudes and the culture of tolerance. As the basis for this study we used express questionnaire “Index of Tolerance” by G.U. Soldatov, O.A. Kravtsov, O.E. Khukhlayev, L.A. Shaigerova.

This method provides for the calculation of the overall result with no division into subscales.

Each response to a direct statement is scored from 1 to 6 ("strongly disagree" scoring 1 point, "totally agree" scoring 6 points). Responses to indirect statements are scored in a reverse manner ("strongly disagree" - 6 points, "totally agree" - 1 point). Then, the resulting scores are added together.

Individual or group assessment of the identified level of tolerance is carried out according to the following criteria:

22-60 - a low level of tolerance. These results indicate a high level of personal intolerance and existence of strong intolerant attitudes towards the world and people.

61-99 – an average level. This level is characteristic of the respondents, who have a combination of both tolerant and intolerant traits. In certain social situations, they behave tolerantly, other situations they may exhibit intolerance.

100-132 - a high level of tolerance. Representatives of this group have strong traits of a tolerant person. At the same time it should be understood that the results close to the upper boundary (over 115 points) can testify to the erosion of a person’s "limits of tolerance", associated, for example, with psychological infantilism, the tendency to connivance, condescension or indifference. It is also important to note that the respondents, showing these results may demonstrate a high degree of social desirability (especially if they are aware of the research purpose and understand the convictions of the researchers).

For the qualitative analysis of the aspects of tolerance separate subscales can be analyzed:

1. Ethnic tolerance: 2, 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21.

2. Social tolerance: 1, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20.

3. Tolerance as a personality trait: 3, 5, 9, 13, 17, 19, 22.

“Ethnic tolerance” subscale reveals person’s relation to other ethnic groups and principles of intercultural interaction. “Social tolerance” subscale allows investigating manifestations of tolerance and intolerance towards various social groups (minorities, criminals, mentally challenged people), as well as to studying individual attitudes towards certain social processes. Subscale "tolerance as a personality trait" includes items that help to assess personality traits, attitudes and beliefs, which to a great extent determine the attitude of an individual to the world.

The study revealed that the overall index of tolerance of different groups of young people is 68 points, which corresponds to the average tolerance level (61-99). These results are characteristic of respondents, who posses a combination of both tolerant and intolerant traits. In certain social situations of interpersonal interaction they behave tolerantly, while in other situations they may exhibit intolerance. The study also revealed that students have the highest level of tolerance (84.3).

Figure 2. The index of tolerance of students and youth

Analysis of the distribution of respondents by category of young people within the boundaries of the average value of the tolerance index revealed that university students tend to be more intolerant, while students of secondary professional colleges, on the contrary, exhibit a high index of tolerance.

Working youth demonstrated an average level of tolerance (68.8), while young faculty demonstrated the highest level of tolerance (96.4).

According to the methodology used in this study differentiates between ethnic, social and personal tolerance. Distribution of the index values is shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. The ratio of social, ethnic and personal tolerance

The study revealed that to date, the index of tolerance of different categories of youth is average, but there is a predisposition to intolerance among university students, particularly among students of law-related majors. Thus, it is necessary to develop a set of measures aimed at promoting tolerance, and developing a culture of tolerance among students and also test different models of organizing the process of cultivating the culture of tolerant attitudes.

REFERENCES

1. "On the Concept of the State Youth Policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan till 2020 “Kazakhstan 2020: The Way of the Future” "Resolution of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated February 27, 2013 № 191.

2. Daumova B.B. Development of ethnic tolerance in senior pupils, 2012.

3. Nabiyev E.A., Petrussevich A.A. Development of the culture of tolerance in the younger generation: Monograph. - Ust-Kamenogorsk, 2014. - 180 p.



Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №7 - 2015

  
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