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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Young people’s transitioning into adulthood is accompanied by their inclusion into society’s socio-cultural context, together with the development of their own cultural models and interaction practices. Youth cultural space develops as a result of layered connections between young people and culture in general – elements of which are simultaneously inherited and altered by them – as well as subculture models, which emerge in the realm of intra-group interactions, i.e. within youth communities. During the dialectical process of inheritance, denial and construction, young people obtain their own social-group characteristics. In turn their cultural space is distinguished by features which differentiate their activities from other social groups. In modern society youth cultural space is very much a self-regulating realm, within which occurs the development and construction of the most important values which then become the foundation for purpose in life. Base culture plays an essential role in shaping purpose, with its models – contained within the collective unconscious – being directly linked to historic memory. Historic memory, reflected in archetypical and mental structures, influences the content of life purpose values. Engraining itself into habitus during the habitualization process, it becomes the basis for purpose which defines the direction for behavioral predispositions. Together with historic memory, youth life purpose values are significantly influenced by everyday knowledge and experience, which accumulate as a result of young people interacting with others participating in the development of cultural space. In order to confirm self-regulation of youth life purpose values as a holistic process, this article analyzes the connection between young people’s concepts on the meaning of life and various types of culture, archetypes, mentality, habitus. This was facilitated by the fact that the article presents results of developing a cultural space typology, of highlighting – based on analyzing existing approaches towards studying the unconscious – the most common archetypes, mental and modern features of national character, habitual attitudes. Analyzing their relationship allowed for tracing the influence of each on the development of young people’s purposes in life during the self-regulation process. The article substantiates the conclusion – drawn as a result of analyzing how life purposes are connected with types of culture and archetypes – that young people for the most part accept traditional culture, which defines the general direction for the development of meaning in their lives. Based on analyzing the connection between life purpose values and mental, modern features of national character, the study reveals the dialectics of “traditional” and “contemporary” in the altering of meanings in young people’s lives. Analyzing the connection between life purpose values and habitus allows us to consider the modification (hybridization) of meanings in the process of developing behavioral inclinations among young people in terms of self-regulating their living activity. Therefore self-regulation of young people’s life purpose values appears to be a dynamic process which fills their lives with new meanings in an evolving cultural space.
sociology, Russia, youth, culture, values, the meaning of life, understanding, behavior, development
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