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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The purpose of this article is to analyze working youth’s attitudes towards competition as one of the most essential merits in modern Russian society. Working youth’s value orientations had developed during a time when market economy was already prevalent in Russian society, with competition playing a vital role in its operation. However, in recent years, youth attitudes towards competition have hardly even been studied. A social constructivist approach was used as the theoretical-methodological foundation for this article. The empirical base for this study consists of a questionnaire survey of Tyumen province’s working youth (N = 956), employed at 20 organizations in the cities of Tyumen, Tobolsk and Ishim. This article considers how young people evaluate the concept of “competition” using the semantic differential method aided by ten specially constructed antinomic scales, as well as their competitive ability, determined by means of self-assessment. On a verbal level, respondents predominantly regard competition as something important, but immoral, uncomfortable and unpleasant. A contradiction became apparent between verbal evaluations of the concept of “competition” and the results attained by means of factor analysis. It was determined that a more important factor describes the complete internalization of competition on behalf of respondents as one of the most important merits in modern life, as its approval as a mechanism for achieving success in life. A significantly less important factor expressed a variable which describes a positive attitude among working youth towards competition, primarily as something beneficial, essential and effective. Also used were methods such as cluster and correlation analysis. In particular, the article demonstrates correlations between evaluations on varying scales of semantic differentiation and the self-assessments of competitive respondents. It was determined those partaking most effectively in competition were those young men and women who do not view competition in terms of moral principles, and who are not preoccupied with honesty when it comes to competing. When conducting further research, it would seem reasonable to analyze the place which competition occupies in the general structure of the basic values of modern working youth.
competition as a value, working youth, society of trauma, «semantic differential»
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