The Role of Education and Mass Media in the Development of Inter-ethnic
Tolerance as a Necessary Condition for the National Unity of Kazakhstan
Togaibayeva A*, Yessengulova M, Zhukenova G, Ramazanova D and Issembayeva N
Aktobe Regional State University Named after K.Zhubanov, Republic of Kazakhstan, ÃÂktobe.
- Corresponding Author:
- Aigulden Togaibayeva
Aktobe Regional State University Named after K.Zhubanov
Republic of Kazakhstan, ÃÂktobe.
Received date: May 06, 2016; Accepted date: June 22, 2016; Published date: June 25, 2016
Citation: Togaibayeva A, The Role of Education and Mass Media in the Development of Inter-ethnic Tolerance as a necessary condition for the National Unity of Kazakhstan. Global Media Journal.2016, S3:21
Copyright: ©2016, Togaibayeva A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
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Present study defines the role of education and mass media in the development of tolerance in the modern world. We explored the reasons and significance of raising interethnic tolerance in the conditions of poly-ethnic Kazakhstan, as well as the theoretic and practical bases of a tolerant personality development in the globalizing world. We analyzed various aspects of mass media influence on the inter-ethnic tolerance development. We present the methods of influencing mass media employees in order to increase their social responsibility.
Tolerance; Inter-ethnic Tolerance; Multicultural environment; Conflict, Discourse; Pedagogics of nonviolence; Mass media; Mass conscience manipulation; Ethnic information.
The XXI century is signified, on the one hand, by total globalization, and on the other hand, by increased attention of each ethnos towards its own originality and uniqueness. Therefore, on the one hand, there is a unification of cultural space and a constantly growing distribution of a tendency for standardizing human life. National states gradually loose the monopoly for very significant functions, which they have been fulfilling recently in the fields of politics, economics, warfare, information, etc. On the other hand, the abovementioned processes stimulate active confrontation, which presents as national cultural and spiritual renaissance and urge towards ethnic and national self-validation. On the one hand, the globalization process is accompanied by the integration of cultures, blurring of national traits, convergence of economies, laws and fashion, simplification of communications and migration processes, emergence of state alliances, integrations, etc.; and on the other hand, the wish to defend and develop the original national culture, language, national rituals and traditions is being stated.
This controversy of the planet development, unfortunately, results in terrible inter-religious (and, fundamentally, intercivilizational) conflicts. There is a “constant expansion and deepening of relationships between people of different civilizations and people “inside” the civilizations” .
This controversy might evoke local conflicts in the relationships between nations, as well as between the separate representatives of multi-national countries, one of which at present moment is Kazakstan. Because of this the main aim of the school is raising international tolerance in children, which would have provided peaceful co-existence of all nations and ethnic groups that populate Kazakhstan.
Specific traits of modern society create a situation, according to which multi-cultural environment as a factor of the young generation’s conscience development deserves special attention in the education in a broad sense. This social factor became the leading one in the development of humanitarian education in many countries around the world, which aims at moral development of a personality and creation of “inter-cultural competence”, which is defined as the positive attitude towards different cultures, languages, rituals and opinions in all areas of life .
It is constantly being noted that education, being based on culture’s national specifics and the experience of different social and national groups, should develop the global thinking, which is highly necessary on the present stage. And for that, from the first years the education should raise the interest and respect towards the cultures of the nations from around the world, the understanding of universal and culturally specific things, global worldwide events, their nature and consequences for the fate of nations, the acceptance of equality of various opinions on the global events and the development of skills for systemic approach to studying the global processes.
As far as Kazakhstani reality is concerned, the researchers have the single possible answer to the question of how the integration and balance of interests of the 140 ethnic groups and 40 confessions representatives, who live in the country along with the Kazakhs, is possible. The answer is that the foundation for agreement and stability in the society has to become – and became – the initial choice towards the development of the national and not of the ethnic unity .
Currently in Kazakhstan, as well as in the whole world, there are two perspectives of inter-ethnic relationships development: conflict and discourse. How the events will proceed, depends on the large amount of factors, including the extent, to which the society would accept the idea of tolerance and to which the principle of tolerance would become its primary principle of functioning. As the researchers suppose, “the development of a personality’s tolerance is affected by a system of factors, both objective and subjective. The subjective factors include individual and age characteristics. The objective factors are the influence of family, social environment and mass media.” .
Inter-ethnic tolerance is highly significant for Kazakhstan, which is a poly-ethnic country that includes national minorities of various origins with their own ethnic, cultural and linguistic uniqueness.
The politological dictionary defines tolerance as “a variety of interaction between different sides – individuals, social groups or countries, in which the sides demonstrate attention and patience towards the difference in opinions, representations, positions and actions”. .
In the widest sense tolerance means respect, perception and explanation of cultural variability of our world and of selfpresentation and self-validations forms of human personality. Tolerance represents the necessary quality of social relationships, which allows preventing violence and reaching the pluralism of opinions and actions.
Tolerance also includes deep legal bases. Without patience, consideration of each other’s interests, equal rights of nations and their cultures, the development and progress of civilization is impossible. Social wisdom states that love, patience and labor will help surviving in any conditions. Because of this the emergence of a new direction in humanistic pedagogics - tolerance - in the period of crisis is not random.
The core of pedagogic science has always included the question of developing a balanced personality, which is capable of understanding, respecting, empathizing and helping other people. The school is a social institution, one of the main mechanisms of the state’s influence on solving social problems and international relationships and the main mean of providing the optimal interaction between nations. It is worth recalling the statement of the English philosopher and pedagogue John Locke: “The well-being of a nation highly depends on the correct education of children”.
Because of this the increase of interest towards humanistic pedagogics, one of the directions of which is pedagogics of tolerance, in the XX century was not unfounded. Explaining the essence of humanistic pedagogics, Sh. Amonashvili stated: “By being aware of the impulses of life in oneself and by following the ideas of communal living and cooperation, people are able to make goal-directed life changes, increase its quality and, therefore, change themselves – perfect their mentality and their knowledge and expand the boarders of their possibilities”. .
Speaking about raising tolerance, it is impossible to neglect psychological studies, especially when humanistic psychology is concerned, because it is this approach that gives us knowledge about the specifics of personality development and shaping. According to humanistic theories of personality (A. Maslow and C. Rogers), the nature of a person itself contains the bases for tolerant attitude towards the others. The main goal of a teacher, in these conditions, is to reveal these bases, develop and improve them.
P.P. Stepanov explains his opinion on educating the studying youth in the spirit of tolerance. He developed the orientation paradigm for studying the educational and legal lessons. The school is able to become the school of non-violence, freedom and tolerance for the children. These lessons imply the creations of conditions for children’s orientation towards the values of non-violence and justice as a common basis for behaving in social conflicts and a principle of constructive solution .
Upon analyzing this question we came to the conclusion that the abovementioned directions mostly reveal the content aspects of inter-social active personality. They are defined by the structure of global values and mentoring tasks, related to the current level of the global community development.
V.G. Maralov and V.A. Sitarov define such concept as “pedagogics of non-violence”, which is a part of pedagogics of tolerance. One of its main goals is the distribution of peacecreating ideas among the youth, raising of humanism and understanding that the way is not capable of solving difficult controversies and conflicts. The researchers characterize the following main traits of the pedagogics of non-violence.
1. Pedagogics of non-violence is the movement of progressive pedagogues, who act against various forms of constraint and humiliation of a person’s dignity; it is the actualization of the new ideas in education and mentoring, which aim at developing a creative, socially active personality, which builds its life on the basis of trust, peace and justice, cooperation and mutual understanding.
2. Pedagogics of non-violence is the humanism in action, which is based on the principle of individual approach and which supports the humanization of all relationships, rejects oppression and praises cooperation.
3. Pedagogics of non-violence is the noblest form of fighting for peace and for such economic and social society change, which would facilitate the prosperity of a person’s creative powers and the development of his personality. It is the reason why it supports the humanization of the social environment and of all means of mentoring and personality development of the teacher himself, who is capable of making those ideas real in the practice of education and mentoring of the generation, raised on the ideas of peace and mutual understanding.
V.G. Maralov and V.A. Sitarov state the most important thing: without consolidating the forces of good, justice and humanism the violence will not disappear on its own. We have to fight for it with the most determined and humane means. Peaceful co-existence, international cooperation, wars prevention and urge towards mutual understanding currently depend on the collective and individual efforts of all nations of the world .
Undoubtedly, in order to develop one’s own mentoring system from the ideas of peace, tolerance and mutual understanding and find the new efficient methods, it is important to consider not only the national experience, but also the international one.
The significance of the problem of raising inter-ethnic tolerance is noted by I.D. Bekh in his work “Raising a personality”; he notices that the solution of this problem depends not on a small group of politicians, but rather on the mass conscience of the citizens. “It requires the development of humankind’s united moral priorities, which provide the robust global co-existence. Such priorities are a human as the highest value of civilization; freedom and rights of a human as a global value; humanism and justice as universal principles of global relationships; tolerant attitude towards the rights and interests of all people and nations as the primary condition of peaceful co-existence and prevention of armed conflicts; unaccepting attitude towards the violations of rights and freedom of people and nations as a guarantee of stable and robust world all around the Earth” . According to the psychologist, mentoring the young generation with the abovestated priorities would allow avoiding armed conflicts and confrontations. Such mentoring implies the teachers using individual and differential approaches with regard to the age characteristics of the children, their typological and gender differences, cultural level, axiological orientations and individual biographies. The result of raising the international tolerance should be a personality’s robust orientation towards supporting and protecting the world in wider sense (including oneself, the others, in the family, in the country, on the planet and as the defense of human life and rights).
Aiming at the optimization of raising the inter-ethnic tolerance, M.G. Yarakhimova suggests organizing the mentoring process in such way that it would provide students with the ability to master the knowledge about the people of the world and the country, their cooperation, the main rights and freedoms, common life interests and citizenship; to develop a positive emotional attitude towards the obtained knowledge, its transformation in the opinions and personal beliefs; with the organization of the direct experience of communication with representatives of the various ethnic groups and religious confessions; the development of skills and abilities for overcoming personal psychological barriers in inter-ethnic communication; the development of highly moral motivation and positive actions in the students’ behavior in the process of their interaction with the representatives of various ethnic groups, races and confessions .
In the USA the main focus lies on raising the respect towards human differences, care about family members, friends and significant others, responsibility in front of oneself and the whole humankind, trust and social honor. This became a foundation for psychological-pedagogic studies by D. Nolte, which resulted in the conclusions that have to be accounted for during the development of the main ways of raising tolerance in the young generations:
if the children live in the conditions of rivalry, they learn to be violent;
if the children live with recognition, they learn to be friendly;
if the children live in the conditions of tolerance, they learn tolerance .
Widely recognized French pedagogues M. Altiat, P. Boucher and J. Brunet define tolerance as a social value, moral norm and a principle of human relationships, which manifests in accepting the thoughts, rituals, political beliefs, interests and feelings of other people and which is, first of all, a mutual process and a foundation of civilized relationships. The researchers propose raising the tolerance in the young generation in interpersonal, inter-ethnic and inter-religious communication .
M. Debess and P. Fakonen conclude that raising the tolerance might be efficient in the condition of active interaction between school, family, youth social services, social organizations (national cultural communities and alliances, foundations, etc.), local and central organizations, global community and mass media, which create the mentoring environment and affect the upbringing of the young generation .
The experience of mentoring the youth on the basis of tolerance, accepted in the Russian Federation on the official level, is equally significant. This country has the ongoing program of the Ministry of Education of the RF “Development of affirmations of tolerant conscience and prophylactics of extremism in the Russian society”. In its framework the book “Tolerant conscience and the development of tolerant relationships (theory and practice)” was issued; it contains the generalization of the results of work, conducted both by the researchers on the problems of tolerance and the practical specialists, primarily, the teachers. It includes the materials, which reveal the methodologic aspects of organization and principles of tolerant conscience development; the main characteristics of the mentoring process and significance of a lesson as a mean of developing tolerant relationships.
As it was noted above, one of the objective factors, which influences the tolerance development in poly-ethnic society, is the influence of mass media. In the current age of information technologies and Internet in almost every home, mass media is capable of developing human conscience even faster and deeper than educational, mentoring and cultural institutions. In the opinion of many specialists, the extent of the mass media influence on a young person is bigger than the influence of educational facilities. Frequently the process of conflict development and even its consequences depend on the work of mass media. Moreover, mass media are even able to provoke a conflict. Everything depends on the professionalism and the integrity of the mass media employee .
Tolerant or conflict values, images, directions and ideas are translated by magazines, newspapers, television programs or articles on the Internet and depend on who owns the publishing company, how professional are the creators of the material, what is the level of their integrity and whether or not they are doing somebody else’s order. Only highly educated and politically well-rounded people notice mass media’s manipulations of our conscience. Wide audience of readers, viewers and Internet users is under the influence of those institutions, values, norms and behavior models, which are imposed by the mass media.
Currently the researchers have gathered the means of manipulation by the mass media:
tearing the text out of the context and the word out of the object;
emotional manipulation (the most dangerous one). Aggression, tears, desperation, anger and threats on the TV screens or on the newspapers pages are able to evoke an explosion on a political, social or religious ground;
withholding the information, which is not favorable for one of the sides;
direct fraud of the facts;
distribution of lies and slander;
sticking the labels in order to undermine the ideas, as well as separate people;
ignorance or half-truth by extraction of parts of information from the main flow.
The range of the mass conscience manipulations by the mass media is wide: inter-civilizational, international (interethnic), inter-religious, political, linguistic relationships, etc.
Let us analyze the widest modern layer of problems, which are actively addressed by the mass media and in the interests of which the most unprecedented “games” with people’s mass conscience happen. We are talking about inter-ethnic relationships and inter-ethnic conflicts. Republic of Kazakhstan is a typical poly-ethnic state, which has, besides Kazakhs, the representatives of many other nationalities, who maintain their linguistic, historical and cultural values. They include Russians, Ukrainians, Uzbeks, Tatars, Uyghurs, Germans and representatives of other nationalities; moreover, the situation in the inter-ethnic field is significantly better here than, for example, in the neighboring Russia.
But the problems exist, and the mass media play a major role in their increase or, on contrary, their solution. Ethnic traits of the people are one of the significant objects of our time, which is constantly being used by politics for their own goals.
Ethnic information, which is translated by the mass media, not only shapes people’s mass representations in the area of international relationships, but it also raises in such people an attitude towards their ethnic unity and their ethnic or national integrity. “Mass media might be direct participants of the ethnic conflicts… The most destructive forms of the mass media activity in the international relationships include propaganda of false ethnic myths, one-sided or biased presentation of ethnic, racial or religious conflicts, use of words and expressions, which are accusing, offensive, humiliating, etc.” 
In this regard we can identify the main media methodology goals in the aspect of ethnicity:
1. The organization and activity of "ethnic" media (ethnolinguistic aspect of the problem, training of media workers, ethno-linguistic broadcast, etc.).
2. Attracting respective ethnic audience.
3. Presentation, content, focus and the possible effect of the actual ethnic information.
4. Formation of the role and civil position of the journalistic pool, illuminating issues of ethnicity and forming conflicting or tolerant ethnic consciousness of the audience.
Even a non-professional in politics and journalism, by looking through the main topics of mass media publications in the field of inter-ethnic relationships, might be able to imagine, which falsifications, provocations and instigations are possible to be made by the mass media. But preventing the ethnic-national, religious and linguistic conflicts in a democratic, fragmented, poly-cultural society might be possible only on the basis of tolerance.
When the authorities (both regional and central) ignore the problems, concerning the mass media influence of inter-ethnic tolerance development, this might lead to the emergence of multiple problems on the national level:
pluralistic interpretation of the nation-specific interests in the mass media increases the opposite views (depending on the region) on the development of the Kazakh society’s future model and creates a fruitful environment for the increase of the regional confrontation;
historic experience demonstrates the danger of using the factors of national identity as the object of politicians’ attention. By involving the ethnic-national factor in the political rhetoric of Kazakh elite and by providing uncritical distribution of such doctrines, the mass media create a threat of ethnic fanaticism, which implies the absolute domination of national (ethnic) interests and goals and which is accompanied by the readiness to make any sacrifices and commit any actions for them;
insufficient level of quality of culturally-educating programs and mass media messages and unfounded use of negative ethnic-national stereotypes threats with the loss of society’s potential for trusting the mass media;
passiveness and distance of the regional political elite representatives in highlighting the region’s positions on social, economic and spiritual development in the mass media (articles and public presentations).
Therefore, negative consequences of the mass media influence become possible because of neglect of tolerance as a factor of national idea and national identity development.
In the framework of the study of mass media influence on the national identity through the tolerant attitude towards ethnic-national, religious, linguistic and political variability it is rational to:
recommend mass media to develop a method of measurement and conduct the mass media monitoring on the basis of revealing the connection between the mass media essential content, the level of tolerance in the presented content and the dynamics of the evaluation of Kazakhstan citizens’ self-identity;
encourage the mass media to develop democratic nationalism, so-called “constitutional patriotism” (according to J. Habermas) and a positive image of the Kazakh nation’s future, aimed at an optimistic perspective and consolidating moments.
Those mass media representatives that neglect the ethic norms have to be reminded of the other means of influence for the increase of the social responsibility for their work: criminal prosecution; legal means of influence; administrative measures of influence; moral and ethical sanctions inside the professional journalistic community; social control and professional, ethnological, legal and social-linguistic expertise.
It is obvious that the influence of the mass media, cinema, show-business or book publishing on the national identity development cannot be neglected; however, the education has been and still remains the dominating and the most efficient form of the national self-conscience establishment. Mentoring is being efficiently conducted through education, during the educational and mentoring process. The process of individual’s socialization and his establishment as a personality and as a citizen happens through education.
Education not only does not remain aside from the globalization processes, but it actively participates in them. In our opinion, high level of educational culture becomes a necessary condition for quality education content, and it is such education that is able to strengthen and develop the nation. The education and mentoring are able to successfully synthesize the universal national basic values and personal interests.
In order to raise inter-ethnic tolerance it was necessary to have the society consolidation, based on the poly-ethnicity, but without forgetting that ethnicity continues to play an important part. On the present stage the unity of origin (being different for different ethnic groups), the language, etc. cannot be the consolidating factors. In our opinion, therefore, such factor has to become the common history, which includes multiple centuries, because all Kazakhstani ethnic groups were developed in the unified Eurasian space. Being aware of the historic destinies unity, both in the past and in the future, would help avoiding negative displays in inter-ethnic relationships.
Time has shown that it is the most reasonable way of combining the interests of all citizens in the country, regardless of their ethnic affiliation. During a few years there is a question of transitioning the country to the civil society state. The development of a united nation in Kazakhstan becomes the basis of inter-ethnic tolerance.
In present situation it is completely obvious that the bases of modern inter-ethnic tolerance mentoring have to be cultural and historical experience of the Kazakh society and the common mentoring traditions. A personality not only acquires the principles of inter-ethnic tolerance, but also consequently develops them in the process of its own activity. Raising interethnic tolerance attracts the personality towards the fundamental national values and consolidates both specific and original traits of each nation and the global traits, common for all nations of the world, in the new generations.
This mentoring of a personality based on the system of ideals, traditions, rituals and beliefs, is aimed at the development of axiological orientations of the young generation in the spirit of the development of Kazakhstani material and spiritual culture. It provides the spiritual unity and succession of the past, modern and future generations.
Essentially, in the process of inter-ethnical tolerance mentoring the national self-conscience also develops, which facilitates a person’s awareness of self-identification with his nation, establishment of the self-value of historical memory and creation of a correspondent axiological system, which, in turn, is a vitally necessary condition for a complete selfactualization of a personality.
Tolerance is a component of a life perspective of a mature personality, which possesses a complete system of values and interests, is ready to defend them and, at the same time, is respectful towards the opinions of other people, consciously rejects the priority and violence, admits the multidimensionality and variety of human culture, norms and beliefs and acts on the basis of perception and agreement.
The problem of raising inter-ethnic tolerance in the young generation is highly significant in the conditions of Kazakhstan and requires not only theoretical but also practical solution, and in particularly, the development of appropriate mentoring programs, trainings and technologies, which would have provided the establishment of a highly moral, humane and tolerant personality, able to actively interact with the representatives of different nations and ethnic groups.
Development of inter-ethnic relationships depends on a large group of factors, including the level, to which the mass media would accept the idea of tolerance and to which extent the principle of tolerance would become the main principle of their activity. Mass media, including the Internet, are able to develop human conscience even faster and deeper than educational, mentoring and cultural institutions. The researchers studied the means of manipulating conscience and subconscious by the mass media.
Modern mass media provide the society with the complete axiological, content and behavior models, which might consolidate the society and relieve the social tension rather efficiently, but are also able to undermine the society’s positive consolidation and psychological robustness by creating and promoting to the masses the images of enemies and unwinding aggressive mood of the crowd.
Political scientists, sociologists and psychologists have developed a range of questions for the mass media employees, which, essentially, are the appeal to moral qualities of professional journalists, the appeal to their conscience and responsibility for the destinies of separate people and the society in general. For those representatives of the mass media, who neglect the ethical norms, law-givers create a reminder about other methods of increasing the social responsibility for their work: criminal prosecution; legal norms of influence; administrative measures of influence; moral and ethical sanctions.
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