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Tolerance as an Ethical Indicator of Kazakh Mentality and Traditional Culture

Aubakirova SS*, Akhmetova GG, Kudysheva AA, Ismagambetova ZN and Karabayeva AG

Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan

*Corresponding Author:
Saltanat Sovetovna Aubakirova
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Al-Farabi Avenue 71, Almaty, 0500040, Kazakhstan
Tel: +87272211000

Received date: May 06, 2016; Accepted date: June 20, 2016; Published date: June 24, 2016

Citation: Aubakirova SS, Akhmetova GG, Kudysheva AA, et al. Tolerance as an Ethical Indicator of Kazakh Mentality and Traditional Culture. Global Media Journal. 2016, S3:11

Copyright: © 2016, Aubakirova SS, 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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The tolerance is one of the Kazakh mentality indicators. One can see it in culture, tradition and art, worldview and philosophy, spiritual condition. The tolerance is one of the Kazakh mentality‘s main features and it shows internal state of Kazakh people. Tolerance for Kazakh people is a life way and a communication form in society. So the problem of tolerance is studied from the methodology view in Kazakh mentality. Kazakhstan shows interreligious consent and discussion and it is the main rule of the world and traditional religions. Nowadays Kazakhstan is one of the world prestigious countries which lives in peace and tolerance.


Tolerance; Mentality; Moral; Kazakh culture


One of the important objectives in this article is to clarify the role of spiritual, psychological and moral factors of the tolerance formation in Kazakh mindset. The study of this aspect of the problem allows revealing social and spiritual foundations and factors affecting the formation of tolerant consciousness and human behavior in society.

Tolerance is a notoriously difficult thing to measure through survey analysis, because in order to measure the extent to which people will put up with dissent or diversity, they need to be asked about their specific attitudes and reactions, and it is always possible that an alternative subject matter would have elicited a different response [1].

Currently the discussions about culture and spirituality in abstract-theoretical form may seem superfluous, due to objective and subjective reasons, especially when the question is about the specific problems of the Kazakhstan’s society. Therefore, this purpose motivates to study the peculiarities of Kazakhstan’s mindset which is reflected in solution of spiritual, social, economic and political problems of the society. The issue of tolerance in Kazakhstan is wide and has many aspects due to its ambiguity. Studying the phenomenon of tolerance is interdisciplinary in nature as the sociocultural dynamics of our society provides us with the problems that can be solved only with the full analysis of the current sociocultural tasks [2].

As it is known, nation’s mindset is the result of joint spiritual life of the peoples inhabiting Eurasia’s space. Customs and traditions, culture, system of spiritual values established by time affect its formation, as well as lifestyle. In other words, the Kazakh mindset is an integral spiritual formation that characterizes the originality of Kazakhstan people’s spirit.

Generally speaking, Kazakhstan’s mindset is a spiritual synthesis of values and worldviews of East and West. The core of this synthesis is presented by the unity of Will, Mind and Heart. They form certain integrity in the core of Kazakhstan's mindset. There is no opposition between them or domination of one over another. Here everything is united and connected.


Currently in psychology and disciplines dealing with a man and his problems in the social world, the term "tolerance" is used in different ways. The question of what kind of understanding of tolerance prevails in ordinary consciousness is not less interesting.

Unsurprisingly, those who are the beneficiaries of the tolerant attitude of others do not always appreciate the implicit disapproval that is implied by the fact that they are tolerated by others [3].

Problems of psychosocial models of behavior, as well as the problem of non-violence are directly related to the problem of tolerant behavior, or to be accurate, they are related to a manifestation of "behavioral models and mental projects of deep psychological affirmation, which are typical for some or other large social formations, small social groups and certain individuals, fixing "own personal spaces" [4]. “Another person belongs to a different cultural space - language, religion and has a different appearance - the color of skin, the shape of eyes, gender and age” - such acceptance means there are not repressions and other measures of a violent nature against him. But it does not mean that all differences that were brought by other subjects into our lives will be accepted and adopted as our own. The acceptance of the differences means the acceptance of itself in space of this culture at this particular moment. This actions’ character and mindsets can be regarded as the highest degree of human freedom and as a possibility of actualization itself as an independent and original subject. Tolerance, as an important element of personal and collective self-comprehension. It acts as a basis for personal identity, a social group and society in the context of social life activity. Tolerance experience is aimed at a wide scale of assessments, far-reaching vision of cultural symbols. Tolerant attitude is an everyday "experience" of diverse “relative” situations of meeting “otherness" in cultural communication, political interaction and common interpenetration. Consciousness always chooses, aggravates or ignores information, leaving the part of the informational content, which confirms the correctness of the personal point of view and reducing the incongruous part with our worldview "position." For each person, specific ways of presenting the world form a complex of interests, habits, likes and dislikes, rules of conduct, thereby distinguishing people from each other, creating an individual model of the world of every person. Human behavior will be understandable if the strategy of choice, which is caused by the behavior models of each person, and appropriate configurations of world perception are understood. The difficulty of estimating doesn’t lie in a wrong choice, but in limitations of this choice for the subjective and objective reasons. P. Berger and T. Lukhman, declaring that society exists as an objective and subjective reality, write that the social structure of society - "is the entire amount of typing and created with their help recurring patterns of interaction" [5].

It is obvious that the formation of personality takes place in a particular, social and informational environment, so the change of significant qualities of this environment inevitably leads to a change in a person's behavior. How deep these changes depend on some factors: first - on the efforts of the personality; second - on the current situation; and third – on the degree of necessity, desire, interest on the part of the personality to fit this situation. The opposite is partly true - changing the behavior of the personality and especially, a large enough group of individuals (the so-called "critical mass") leads to qualitative changes of environment at the informational and actual level. In fact, the model of social interaction is changed; there is a movement from conflict and failed behavior strategies to successful, productive and tolerant models of interaction.

The movement of each personality in the direction of tolerance affects all subjects of social space, so this problem can be conditionally divided into a number of the following operations:

Understanding and problematization of the person as the subject of tolerance and tolerant environment;

Searching for necessary internal resources: actualization and mobilization efforts and life experience;

Involvement of external resources of environment: the establishment of connection with potential social partners;

Structure-functional organization of social space, which can be considered as a mechanism of interaction of systems and subsystems of the social unity;

Creating stable strategies of work with own personality and surrounding people for adaptation to the social environment and launching into new value and ideological horizons.

Tolerant context of forming people’s opinions and judgments is regarded today as one of the most important and essential characteristics of an original democratic state. The development of a humane society is impossible without the development and raising the level of a modern person. Specifically the recognition of the sovereignty and values of another person is a prerequisite not only for social, economic and other forms of integration, but also for basic survival in today's economic, cultural and social space. Human tolerance formed in the period of personal formation is one of the most important conditions for reducing tension in society. It is believed that the ability to adequately evaluate and adopt a different point of view is one of the criteria for a person who possesses stable social and moral beliefs, who is able to social adaptation and social creativity and to acquire and process new information. This "approach" seems an important factor in the context of the formation and self-realization of an individual in society [6], as a "total" of his personal formation in the educational space.

We do not use the terms ‘toleration’ and ‘tolerance’ to describe cases where inaction is the result of indifference or approval [7].

In the context of Kazakhstan's mindset, the problems of tolerance have different connotation, it is associated with socio-economic conditions of life of the society. In the Kazakhstan’s mindset, the problems of tolerance pass an evolutionary process from a traditional to a civil society, they go through the collisions of political, economic, social, ethnic, religious and confessional interests of people. These collisions even affected the worldview foundation of human activity, although this information is little. Within the recent twenty years the influence of religion immensely increased and affected public life of society. All kinds of religious sects have been officially registered and received "public blessing" in the face of the Ministry of Justice. They preach among the republic’s citizens their mystical and sometimes harmful teachings. Preached activities, as well as the spreading of missionary literature among population have become common. Briefly, society embraced the religious euphoria. Religious sensation shakes the spiritual foundation of society. It becomes a popular opinion that a belief in God can serve as a guarantee of the spiritual rebirth of society. Specifically it can terminate the end of the crisis in the field of spirituality and in the values of people.

Prominent New Atheists like Richard Dawkins do not even consider the potential costs associated with the eradication of religious institutions. They simply claim that religion has served as an agent of intolerance and an effective ‘weapon’ for provoking intergroup conflict [8].

In our opinion, belief in God can save the country from the spiritual degradation, if religions preach absolute, not quasireligious values. It can make own contribution to the spiritual revival of society, in that case if we exclude from our mindset a desire to assert oneself at all costs in the eyes of others and to get rid of language dominance.

Tolerance is a compound mental and moral complex, responsible for the differences and specific features of organization of the personality and for the direct implication and "support" of the important behavior models and values based on social interaction. It presents a certain quality level of sociability, sustainability and stability communication, comparative work and consolidation of society in conditions of social intense competition and manifestation of natural intense curiosity and "resistance" in relation to psychological and cultural differences in the world around.

Among the international documents on human rights, democracy and legitimacy, special emphasis is paid to the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance, signed on November 16, 1995 in Paris, by 185 countries - members of UNESCO. Article 1 of the Declaration defines ‘tolerance’ as “respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human; the virtue that makes peace possible, contributes to the replacement of the culture war by a culture of peace; not concession, condescension or indulgence”, and “active attitude prompted by recognition of the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others”. It emphasizes that “it is not only a moral duty, it is also a political and legal requirement” [9].

According to I. B. Grinshpun, versatility of using the term "tolerance", focuses at: first - the understanding of tolerance as individual property lies in an ability to preserve the self-regulation of frustrating environment impact; second - the term “tolerance” is used as a symbol of the ability to non-aggressive behavior towards another person on the basis of openness in relative independence from the actions of another. In the first case, the emphasis is on the ability to self-preservation, in the second - the willingness to cooperation [10]. According to the author, the most common interpretation of “tolerance” as “indulgence" is not satisfactory or complete, because it means at least violence on themselves against their own internal rules and like any violence can lead to increasing tension, despite the controlling negative manifestations in behavior.

The clause “situations of diversity” is included in the above definition of tolerance on the grounds that if there were no diversity between people, then there would be no differences between them to object to [11].

A.P. Sadokhin emphasizes the emotional component in the manifestation of tolerance and as a consequence describes “tolerance” as "a sense of indulgence and respect attitude to other people's opinions which doesn’t coincide with their own”. Tolerance allows the right to freely express their views and real equality of people in real life, which manifests itself in the fact that people without renouncing their beliefs, simultaneously relates sympathetic to the views of others" [12].

Research Methods

The main research methods are analysis and system analysis. These methods allow identifying specific social parameters of tolerant behavior in society. With their help the degree of tolerance in the society was determined, on the basis of which social groups of tolerance were identified.


Tolerance as a quality of a person is basically based on the humanistic worldview. Contrasting intolerance to tolerance, it may be noted that the first one involves hostility to anyone as a potential willingness to commit psychological, moral, physical violence. In turn, violence is defined as behavior that involves targeted action to achieve physical harm or injury to another person. Psychological or moral violence can also lead to physical harm. Consequently, intolerant behavior implies subjective hostile attitude and determination to do destructive physical actions to another person. In this connection, it should refer to the characteristics of aggression and aggressive behavior. A. A. Rean and Y. L. Kolominsky pay attention to the adaptive and non-adaptive versions of aggression and aggressive behavior, stressing that the situational behavioral manifestations may vary depending on the current environment of the personality and the necessity of relevant response to the surrounding reality [13]. Otherwise, we deal with irrelevant behavioral manifestations of personality. In the case of non-adaptive aggression we can talk about potentially aggressive interpretation of reality as a stable personal characteristic of world perception.

Searching for the psychological "education” becomes the important psychological task. In essence, it can integrate, at first sight, mutually exclusive behavior models. Such factors can include the socio-cultural competence, which is referred to such psychological educations.

It can be assumed that the level or degree of tolerance of an individual may change because of age or the implementation of processes of personal growth and socialization. It can change both in the direction of “qualitative" characteristics’ growth of tolerance and its decreasing or amputation. Tolerance is connected to ethnic culture and ethno-cultural context in which its empirical support resides.

My non-interference must be grounded on some sort of principle, although not necessarily a moral one, to count as tolerance [14].

It depends on human temperament, personality’s type, direction of “psychic energy”, dominance of one of the human mental functions. Tolerance is often considered as a function of the psyche as a whole, its variable states and multiplicate correlations and dependencies. These and other relationships and dependencies of tolerance are the essence of its "subjectivity" and mainstream of its social functions implementation.

For modern social theory it is perspective to study the connection of tolerance with the dynamics of conflicts and people and social groups’ compliance with the conflicts, as well as to study the tolerance and also intolerance phenomena as a conflict genic factor. These and other problems associated with the interaction between people and their "sociality", are really related to the sociology of tolerance. Thus, in general tolerance is something more or less defined as a social phenomenon. But tolerance of personality is less studied from the point of view of instability, less constant from the point of view of regulation practice, "measuring", the exchange of information, etc., to identify it in the definition, description, functions, mechanisms, motivations, models, as well as the most adequate essential manifestation. The essence of tolerance and its general concept are clarified by the study of tolerance from the perspective of humanistic paradigms and values and axiological classification of conceptualization, norms and descriptions. Some scholars identify humanism with tolerance. Thus, tolerance actively manifests itself in different social networks, relationships and interactions of people (tolerance is in evaluation of actions of behavior, attitude, acts of something or somebody as a specific individual of any social community or group), serves as a universal value.

Therefore it is necessary to define the boundaries of the notion of “mentality”; to conduct a comparative analysis of the notions of "mentality" and "tolerance"; to identify the specific characteristics of Kazakh mentality in reliance on fixed dominants in the culture texts of ethnic identity.

From a psychological point of view, “tolerance” is a moral and psychological quality. It acts as a “significant” subjective factor that encourages the reliability of conventional interactions. It is a "civilized" form of psychological, social, behavioral, moral response of subjects to disparities of interests and positions of the parties of contractual agreements" [15]. Experts in the field of psychology emphasize that tolerance is particularly important in those conditions where a large community is hyper complex, polymorphous system by its ethnic, national, religious, sociocultural characteristics, in which the representatives of various groups have many common problems, similar interests and therefore constantly have to interact to solve joint tasks.

Considering the question of determination of human mindset, we can point to two forms of determination: determination of human existence, consciousness, thinking from the outside and the inside, i.e., self-determination.

If during its post-history and prehistory self-determination is determined by individuals, their responsibility for their actions, consciousness, thinking, so, the external determination means dependence of consciousness of human actions from fatally inevitable "space fields": socio-economic, historical systems, forms of activity, communication and division of labor.

In order to survive, a person must be involved, adapt to these ready, powerful fields of influence, and his mind and will must become a part of the overall sustainable integrity of culture. Inside determination is connected with physiological, genetic, subconscious, superstitious predeterminacies. Determination mechanism inside and partly outside was discovered in the typology of K. G. Jung and socionics of A. Augustinavichiute [16].

K.G. Jung believed that a man manifests four basic psychological functions - invariants, constants of mental activity in different situations in the interaction with the world. These are way of thinking, feeling, sensation, intuition. As far as mentioned functions are extroverted (directed to the outside world) and introverted (directed to the inner world), the Jungian typology of personality includes eight psychological types. According to K. G. Jung, thinking reflects an aspect of information flow as materia and objects, and it can be two types: extroverted business logic (information about the properties of objects) and introverted structure, system logic or logic relations (information on ratio of the objects); ethics (sense of K. G. Jung) is correlated with the energy and also acts in two ways: extroverted emotion ethics (information on energy states) and introverted ethics of relations (information on ratio of states); sensation corresponds to the space and can be extroverted, strongwilled sensation (information about the properties of space) and introverted sensation perceptions (information on spatial relationships); intuition is associated with the originality of time and serves as the forms of extroverted intuition of possibility (information about the properties of the changes) and introverted intuition of time (information on the state changes) [15,17].

A man perceives the world in accordance to the way of perceiving and processing information - sociotype or type of information metabolism. “Sociotype” is a certain combination, of human mental functions (ethics, logic, sensation, intuition), with extraversion - introversion and rationality - irrationality" [18].

Classical socionics created by A. Augustinavichiute develops in the direction of differentiation of type of information metabolism (Meged V., Ovcharov A.) and towards the integration of type of information metabolism (TIM) (V. D. Ermak, N. Prilepskaya). In the first case from 16 grow 256 TIMs, in the second monogroups such as ethnic groups, states, countries, social institutions, social institutes, etc. are considered as one TIM. The studies showed the following TIMs of countries and peoples mentalities: Russia (Yesenin), USA (Jack London), England (Schtirliz), France (Hugo), Italy (Napoleon), India (Balzac), Ukraine (Dreiser) [18].

A sensory-ethical extrovert corresponds to Kazakhs’ mentality. In the American personality typology, it corresponds to extrovert, ethician, sensory, perceiver and philosophical credo with the principle of "Life is given to us only once," and pragmatist credo is - "Work has to be fun."

"Tolerance as a civilizing, psychosocial factor contributes to the fact that the intersubjective, intergroup disputes (in the context of resolving the issues of tolerance) do not have irreparable, destabilizing, destructive impact on the system of intersubjective communication. Tolerance directing its value vector against all forms of intolerance, negativism, and xenophobia is not identical to social inertia and "cold" indifference. There are significant socio-cultural, psychomoral energy that provides a tactics of searching for areas of common interests and a strategy for a common situational platform for a variety of positions. As an ideological and communicative means, it allows subjects to see not only the gap of circumstances and factors that separate them, but also the "bridge" of linking beginnings, common interests that can unite the parties. In case of the absence of the “bridge” the parties, guided by the principle of tolerance, have an opportunity to create such "bridge", using its reserves of moral-psychological culture and constructive ingenuity of own social thinking" [15].


Mentality is a psychic sphere of the subject, the synthesis of the conscious and the unconscious. In contrast to mindset which is taken for granted, mentality is always a job. The last one is determined by the unity of the conscious and the unconscious and cannot be achieved by a modern man automatically, without definite efforts from each concrete person. Sometimes, religious sects understand tolerance as a spiritual phenomenon, referring exclusively to the people of Kazakhstan. They consider themselves outside of this phenomenon, not having any relation with them. In fact, tolerance occurs when there is mutual respect, understanding and acceptance of each other.

In the basis of tolerance there are values such as love, conscience and justice. Finally, tolerance as the basis of spiritual unity is possible when there is a dialogue, real-life communication, a counter movement. If there are suspicion, exceptionalism, radicalism in the actions and attitudes, the conflict is inevitable. Unfortunately, in practice, these things are taking place. Also the strange fact is that on this background, the authorities are implementing tolerance by decree and regulations. So today it is time for scientific and philosophical community of Kazakhstan to express their opinion on this matter, and local authorities should take legal measures against them. Considering that further patience abuse of Kazakhstan people could cause a backlash. Especially considering the circumstance that religious consciousness merges with the national one in the minds of many Kazakhstan people.

In the context of Kazakhstan's mindset the problems of tolerance associated with socio-economic conditions of the society have different connotation. Low standard of living of the rural population, unemployment, unemployment among rural youth, increase of corruption and crime, the excessive enrichment of the financial elite and other negative factors adversely affect the mental world of Kazakhstani and serves as a source of social conflict.

The economic inequality of people by the amount income and wealth are also the subject of much discussion. Some people and social groups have uncontrollable craving to undeserved enrichment, what is a reason not only for irritation, protest mood of many people, but also it creates an unhealthy moral climate in society. As a result these factors form mistrust and even a negative attitude of Kazakhstan people to the public authorities. Today, one can observe and see how these changes are occurring in their behavioral attitudes, motives and intentions toward confrontation. In other words, public morality in the republic comes into collision with the peculiarities of national mentality.

It follows as a logical consequence that a holistic analysis of tolerance, which plays a role of a private form of social activity was held; the bases of mentality were identified; the essence of mentality as a sociocultural phenomenon was defined; the similarities and differences between categories such as mentality, ethnic identity, tolerance were marked; the mechanism of formation of thinking culture was presented through cultural texts.

At the same time, the analysis of the real situation allows making a conclusion that the general existing ideological paradigm aimed at the modernization of the country does not always have universal, mass feature. The question is that ideology is differentiated on the level of certain ranks of society, and sometimes acquires attributiveness of individualism and selfishness of the Western model. The concept of the common wealth is replaced by the idea of the individual wealth. Paradoxically, substitution sometimes runs to extremes, exacerbating the overall situation in the sphere of social and economic relations. To put it mildly, within this framework the ideas of economic liberalism of Kazakhstan people cause the concerns as the government as the subject of a market economy is not able to do anything in terms of regulation of the market economy, because economic liberalism pushes things too far asserting the absolute power of the market and its boundless freedom.

In solving this issue, a special role always belongs to the ideology which is carried out in some or other country. Analyzing the ideology state, which is held in our country, we can characterize it as developing, because it aims to improve the lives of people, the improvement of the socio-political and economic system of the society, the establishment of civil peace and spiritual harmony among the people as the foundation of prosperity and progress. In other words, in the national ideology comprises the values and beliefs of the majority, which ensure the sovereignty and independence of the country.

Briefly, the studying of the sources of tolerance in Kazakhstan mindset is becoming an increasingly important component of the national security. To accomplish this, it is necessary to understand the inner logic and mechanisms of interaction of tolerance in Kazakhstan's mentality to govern effectively the state and country in whole. In turn, in our opinion, the studying of this issue in the socio-humanistic science will provide answers to the challenges of time and we believe it will allow us to more deeply understand the spiritual and social world of the Kazakhstan people.