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This article is based on the results of a sociological study of Saratov’s youth, conducted by means of mass survey. Examined are the theoretical approaches towards analyzing patriotism as a social phenomenon based on the notion of its multi-variance. The substantive content of the term “patriotism” is defined to a significant degree by those values which young people appreciate. It is shown that the diversity of value dominants creates seven models of patriotic attitudes: abstract patriotism, traditional, local (including household), liberal, democratic, critical and globalist anti-patriotism. Temporally all of these models shift in different and often times opposite directions. The older one gets – the more “abstract” and “traditional” models of patriotism diminish in terms of their importance, while local and liberal models grow, on the contrary (however, the proportion of household patriotism, which is included into the local category, does decrease). The process of maturing for young people is typically accompanied by a decreasing significance of the anti-patriotic interpretation.
Young people’s patriotism usually manifests itself in everyday life, and less commonly in political and celebratory activities. The younger generation takes the utmost pride in our World War 2 victory, as well as the culture and history of their country. The fact that upbringing has the greatest effect on developing patriotism among young people is confirmed. Other influential factors include (in order of diminishing importance) public organizations, structures of government power, mass media, the education system, religion. The authors’ analysis of the influence of patriotic events revealed that the greatest contributing factor to developing patriotism is when young people meet with veterans of various wars. Second place in that rating of effectiveness goes to watching feature films and reading books. All of Russian society’s social institutions appear to have vast unrealized potential when it comes to cultivating patriotic sentiments and views among young people. In order to fully realize this potential, the authors suggest not only drastically changing our perspective on such an issue as patriotism, but also initiating active work in regions and in local communities, assisting patriotic associations, clubs and other organizations focused on patriotism, paying close attention to the activities of educational institutions, intensifying patriotic work with students on behalf of the armed forces, and, finally, prompting mass media to radically change their perspective on patriotism and patriotic upbringing.
patriotism, homeland, values, youth, social institutions
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