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Specifics of Ethnic Tolerance in Small Social Groups

Gadzhigasanova NS*, Khairullina NG, Mechrischvili LL and Tkascheva NA

PG Demidov Yaroslavl State University 10, Soviet Street, Yaroslavl, Russia

*Corresponding Author:
Nаide Sefterovna Gadzhigasanova
P.G. Demidov Yaroslavl State University 10
Soviet Street, Yaroslavl, 150000, Russia
Tel: +74852329605
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: May 06, 2016; Accepted date: June 23, 2016; Published date: June 27, 2016

Citation: Gadzhigasanova NS, Khairullina NG, Mechrischvili LL, et al. Specifics of Ethnic Tolerance in Small Social Groups. Global Media Journal. 2016, S3:18 .

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The Russian Federation is characterized by polytechnic population structure, including over 180 nations and ethnic groups. One of the important conditions for prospective development of polycultural society is peaceful coexistence of various nations and people projected on political, economic, cultural and other social life spheres. By that, the need and significance of ethnic tolerance among all Russian nations is predetermined. This paper is devoted to the description and analysis of ethno-national relations and governmental policy in that sphere. The authors stress that currently the Russian federal law on regulation of national relations is characterized by great novelties. Also, it is reasoned that a prerequisite for the improvement of governmental instruments for harmonization of interethnic cooperation is the assessment of opportunities in connection with the implementation of the RF regulations in ethno-national matters. Sociologic data describing the problems and specifics is given, which determines the implementation of ethnic tolerance in small social groups in mono- or polytechnic societies. Measures are offered to contribute to the expansion of constructive tolerance practices in the social reality.


Ethnic tolerance; Interethnic cooperation; National policy; Mono- and poly-technic environment; Region


The relevance and novelty of the study

The matter of interethnic cooperation of Russian nations is in many aspects related to the implementation of the tolerance principle implying mutual understanding, acceptance of independence and worthiness of other nations as well as coordination of various paradigms, orientations and life motives of various ethnic groups. The adoption and distribution of that principle is the most important condition for transition to new public relations allowing various nations to reveal new problem areas and gain new forces to solve the tasks of successful transformation of the Russian society [1,2].

In those conditions, it is feasible, first of all, to give historical and theoretical reasoning of tolerance notion in the sociological theory, second, to learn the level of its methodological usefulness for interethnic cooperation practices analysis, third, to conceive the ethnic tolerance notion, fourth, to submit the results of authors’ sociological research reflecting the specifics of ethnic tolerance in views of mono- or polyethnic regions’ population [3,4].

Development of sociological approaches to tolerance

Sociologic analysis of tolerance notion was first represented in works by foreign sociologists of XIX century. As opined by Marx K., history of mankind is the history of gradual human estrangement. A specific feature of estrangement kingdom is that its life spheres are not interconnected (economy and morals, etc.): each one is living in the circle of own estrangement and no one is bothered by the estrangement of others (other people’s pain). Therefore, intolerance is developed in society in general. The source of social intolerance is related to socio-economic conditions of human existence. Having created the concept of estrangement as the source of social intolerance, Marx K. simultaneously offered the theory for overcoming it by revolutionary changes of ownership relations [5].

Tolerance/intolerance is manifested in the course of social cooperation of individuals. The problem of human cooperation as a generic social phenomenon was studied in the works by Sorokin P. By cooperation the author meant any act by which one person in a semi-tangible way effects transparent acts or states of mind of the other. In Sorokin’s work it is noted that the cooperation between individuals of the same race, nationality, tribe, territorial group, family, etc., and especially between those possessing the same sociocultural values is always different in many aspects from the cooperation between individuals differing in the above parameters. Multivariate relations of the cooperating parties are reduced by Sorokin P. to the four main forms: those effecting via the knowledge about party’s/parties’ existence (catalectic form); via transparent acts; via restrain from transparent acts; via active tolerance. In general, as opined by Sorokin P., tolerance may require rather serious internal effort, often much more serious than required for transparent acts [6].

Merton R. doubted the principle of functional unity of the social system (in the concept of the social theory by Parsons T.) revealing the opportunity to build more flexible social theories which enabled to create the idea on the ambivalence of tolerance, on the ability to create tolerance paradigm via various social instruments in various cultures, also putting forward the issue of international tolerance cooperation to solve which the modernist sociological theory does not have developed theoretical means.

Within the symbolic interactionism represented by Mead G.H. and Cooley C.H., the advantage of tolerance studying is caused by the fact that within the above paradigm the study of that phenomenon is possible not only on the personal level but also on the level of social groups. Also, interactionism concept is rather efficient for the study of some aspects of ethnic relations and cooperation. First, accounting for hard self-view and selfidentification by individuals is important for the study of socalled ethnic anomalies or enthnocultural misfits. Identification as a process and a fact of self-determination may not coincide with categorization, i.e., determination from outside. Second, situational prospect acceptance makes it possible to interpret the new forms of identity or agreed ethnicities as a normal feature of any multiethnic community which is really acknowledged by real social practice in many parts of the world. Third, as identity’s analysis as a situational construct is based on collective determination process, it may help to foresee the changes in selfdetermination of ethnic groups as an important particularity of collective life [2].

According to the position of Park P., the main task and function of society is social control which serves for harmonization of various forms of conflict and competition. However, social control can never ensure continuous order in society, so the researcher opined that stable social order is ensured by accommodation. Accommodation may be temporary between separate individuals and groups, but full accommodation in the contemporary society can never be continuous as new groups and individuals may appear and require their stake of limited values, thus arguing the fitness of things established as a result of previous accommodations. Therefore, society cannot always be tolerant and the only possible way to reach concord is accommodation which is able to stop conflicts and be fixed by laws, norms and moral behavior of society members.

To conceive the difficulties of tolerance/intolerance dynamics in the contemporary society, of great importance is the dialectics of the two main social trends observed now, found by Bauman Z. According to Bauman Z., today’s people strivings are torn between the two needs: demand for participation and individuality [7]. The first need makes people search for stable and reliable links with others. People express that need when they speak or think about community or commonality. The second need (individuality) makes people restraint, inaccessible to acts and aspirations of others, and people do what they think fit, remaining themselves. Both needs are active and strong: the influence of each is the more growing, the less it is satisfied. Meantime, the closer people approach to the satisfaction of one need, the stronger they feel the dissatisfaction with the other. It is found that a community without personal privacy reminds rather suppression than participation while privacy without community resembles loneliness but not being oneself. From the theoretical conclusions made by Bauman Z., we may state that establishment in a society of a culture compliant with tolerance may – in certain circumstances – create dysfunctional effects and cause the reverse (intolerant) response. Understanding, tolerant attitude to others may be considered as infringement of individuality, private space, the invasion of which was one of the achievements of the modern society and which currently experiences continuous negative effect due to high density of information and communication channels of transparent society.

Pobeda N.A. classified tolerance definitions by the basis of the structural network. In that classification, tolerance concept is interpreted in the following context: 1) modal stoicism: principal acceptance that other person has the right, in other words – approval of difference; 2) moral ideal: goodness of tolerance as a relation, correlation; 3) theory of goodness (as public significance and tolerance basis) and human rights including the right to realize own life project; 4) balance of perceptions; 5) temporary balance of powers between conflicting groups and values; 6) ways to achieve peaceful coexistence; the way to establish other values – freedom, equality, fairness; 7) value and social norm of civil society [8].

Ethnic tolerance notion

In the national academic field, great contribution into the development of the scientific knowledge of the ethnic tolerance issues were made by Galkin A.A., Drobizheva L.M., Krasin Yu.A., Kuznetsov I.M., Matskovskiy M., Panina N.V. and Golovakha Ye.L., Petrov V.N., Pobeda N.A., Ryzhova S.V., Tishkov V.A., etc. As per the works by Galkin A.A. and Krasin Yu A., the foundation of tolerant attitude to private interests and opinions, groups and individuals expressing them, is becoming the admission of naturalness and irremovability of otherness from public life.

Petrov V.N. states that sociological research of ethnic tolerance finds the interrelation of that phenomenon with the situation’s circumstances (objective reality) and subjective factors (subjective reality) as well as its belonging to all components of social act’s system including such subsystems as personality, situation of act, social acts and interactions. Understanding tolerance in the context of social act theory is based on the notion that this feature belongs to all elements of its structure: needs, interests, ideas (as a draft movement to meeting the demands), motives and objectives [8].

Kuznetsov I.M. pays attention that the formation of tolerant interethnic relations is a two-sided process where mutual understanding paradigms have equal importance, both from ethnic minorities and the ethnic majority [9].

Matskovskiy M. operationalizes the tolerance notion as a certain feature of cooperation between tolerance subject and object characterized by subject’s readiness to accept object’s sociocultural differences including external features, statements, behavioral features, etc. [10].

Socially, Ryzhova S.V. interprets tolerance as the basis of successful communication and concord-bases cooperation [11].

Panina N.V. and Golovakha Ye L. opine that the conflict between group cultural rights and individual rights is eliminated if a person is able to identify himself/herself not only with his/her group but also spread the identification tools to other social groups accepting their representatives as his/hers [12]. That statement is close to the notion of Drobizheva L.M. about ethnic tolerance as the ability to accept others as equal partners and arrange mutual cooperation. Meantime, Drobizheva L.M. states that the sociological view of interethnic tolerance is oriented at the detection of social and cultural factors of tolerant/intolerant cooperation [13]. Tishkov V.A. interprets tolerance, including ethnic, as respect or acceptance of others’ equality and restrain from domination or violence, active position of self-restriction and deliberate nonintervention [14].

Based on tolerance concept's interpretations, it is required to specify multivariate, ambivalent and dynamic content of that notion. In that connection, the authors interpret tolerance as the system of social cooperation norms and attitudes to various manifestations of sociocultural variety, governing social links in various spheres of public life.

State policy in governing ethno-national relations

In the contemporary Russian reality, the issues of interethnic relations regulation are the subject of active discussion not only in the scientific community but also in all branches of the state power. In particular, one of the most actual acknowledgments is the Order of the RF President V. Putin dated March 13, 2015 on considering the issue and granting powers on establishment of Federal agency for nationalities issues to Chairman of Government D. Medvedev and execution within a short period by the President of the Russian Federation of Order No. 168 On Federal agency for nationalities issues (dated March 31, 2015) [15]. To expand the practice of constructive interethnic cooperation of Russian nations, the following state-scale documents were adopted: the Strategy of state national policy of the RF till 2025; Resolution of the RF Government on federal target program Improvement of unity of the Russian nation and ethnocultural development of Russia’s nations (2014-2020); Orders of the President of the RF On ensuring national concord, On the Russian Federation’s presidential Council on interethnic relations, etc (Resolution of the RF Government No. 718 of August 20, 2013; Resolution of the RF Government No. 307 of April 15, 2014).

Quantity content analysis of the Strategy of state national policy of the RF till 2025 showed that in the text consisting of 4,752 words the following program’s characteristics were the key ones: national/state (6.9%, 319 mentions), Russian (3.8%, 181 mentions), policy (1.59%, 76 mentions), active role of citizens (1.3%, 62 mentions), covering interethnic interests (0.98%, 47 mentions), realized on the municipal level (0.6%, 28 mentions) and purposed (0.52%, 25 mentions) for creating (19 mentions) peace (13 mentions) and concord (12 mentions). We suggest that in the document analyzed the attention to civil society’s institutions should be first of all correlated with the views of Russians about the civil initiative. The point is that according to the sociological research made by Analytical center of Yu. Levada only 10% of respondents declared the actuality of society’s self-organization last year, while the most demanding, as opined by 57% of the respondents, is ensuring the equality of all citizens before the law regardless from their positions in the vertical of power, wealth, nationality [16]. In compliance with Strategy, the priority tasks of the RF’s national policy are: 1) consolidation of Russian civil national self-consciousness subject to supporting ethno-cultural multiversity of nations living in the RF’s territory; 2) improvement and harmonization of interethnic relations subject to successful sociocultural adaptation, integration of migrants; 3) ensuring equality of human and civil rights and freedoms regardless from race, nationality, language, attitude to religion and other circumstances. Meantime, we note that the specific feature of Strategy of state national policy of the RF till 2025 is non-providing the expected results by the basic document’s developers which surely may complicate both control and comprehensive objective analysis of its implementation. Besides, the efficiency of the implementation of a task of Strategy-2025 in connection with education, patriotic and civil training of the growing generation may be complicated due to the lack of information on the initial and prognosticated value of the following indicator: level of awareness of children, teenagers and youths about cultures and national traditions of Russia’s nations. We opine that due to the above fault, the task declared in the document is based on formal approach and is rather nominal [17].

As a tool for realization of Strategy of state national policy of the RF till 2025 and state program of the RF Regional policy and federal relations, Federal target program was adopted on the federal level Improvement of unity of the Russian nation and ethnocultural development of Russia’s nations (2014-2020) which suggests transition from situational support of separate events in constituent entities of the country to target program method of comprehensive realization of state national policy all over the country with the objective of improving unity of the multinational Russian people (the Russian nation) [18].

Accounting for changes made by Resolution of the RF Government in FTP Improvement of unity of the Russian nation and ethnocultural development of Russia’s nations [19,20] among the most important target indicators of that program there are the following: share of citizens positively assessing the state of interethnic relations in the total number of citizens of the Russian Federation. Based on the content analysis of FTP Improvement of unity of the Russian nation and ethnocultural development of Russia’s nations (2014-2020) we came to the conclusion that in the methodology of calculating one of target indicators of that federal program there is a formula which a priori is aimed at mispresentation of information about the share of Russian citizens positively assessing the state of interethnic relations. The point is that for calculation of the said indicator, program’s authors recommend to add two indicators: the number of citizens admitting that during recent years the interethnic relations in Russia became more tolerant and the number of citizens admitting that during recent years the interethnic relations in Russia did not change [21]. However we opine that those indicators inadequately interpret the environment of interethnic relations in the Russian society, so making the opinions of those stating positive dynamics equal with the opinions about constant nature of interethnic relations is at least arguable. Also, we found that in Strategy-2025, within the task on promotion of national and cultural development of nations, creation of public atmosphere of respect for historical inheritance and cultural values of Russian nations is provided for. However, the Schedule of actions for implementation in 2013-2015 of Strategy of state national policy of the RF till 2025, no program was provided for any category or group of population (both federal and regional/municipal) for visiting museums, national cultural centers of the constituent entities of the RF which minimizes the implementability of the task put forward [22]. The sole exception is scheduled international festival Intermuseum (developed in pursuance of Order of the President of the RF On ensuring interethnic concord), being mainly a professional event of respective cultural institutions targeted at the development of interregional links [23]. Based on the above, we opine that it is required to timely, constructively, systematically and progressively come to the improvement of the basic provisions of the core regulations on the state national policy of the RF at the present stage: Strategy of state national policy of the RF till 2025, Schedule of actions for implementation 2013-2015 of Strategy of state national policy of the RF till 2025, federal target program Improvement of unity of the Russian nation and ethno cultural development of Russia’s nations (2014- 2020) to overcome fragmentary nature, approval of basic tasks, priority directions, indicators and respective efficient methods and implementation mechanisms (Decree of the RF Government No. 1226-r of July 15, 2013). Along with that, for the achievement of the same purpose we opine that it will be required to analyze the compliance of the core provisions, indicators of regional/ municipal documents/programs of the constituent entities of the RF with the basic provisions of the federal regulations.


For the purpose of the study of the specifics of ethnic tolerance in small social groups in January – October, 2014 in monoethnic regions (Yaroslavl and Vologda oblasts) and polyethnic region (Republic of Dagestan), 1,200 people were questioned chosen via quota sampling (Table 1). The choice of Yaroslavl and Vologda oblasts is explained, first of all, by equal ethnic structure of population: both regions may be called practically monoethnic, as Russians upon the population census in 2010 were 96.0% and 97.27% respectively. The total number of population also evidences the similarity: 1,272,468 persons in Yaroslavl oblast, 1,202,444 in Vologda oblast. Besides, the flow of migrants in both regions is virtually identical both by quality and quantity parameters (number of migrants, level of education, age, nationality, citizenship, etc.). At the same time, the interest to Republic of Dagestan was caused by historic mosaicism of the ethnic structure of population and therefore is a unique experience of maintaining harmony in interethnic relations. As per the data of Territorial body of Federal service for state statistics in Dagestan, the number of population was 2,910,200 people. The republic population includes 8 of the most numerous nations, the number of each exceeding 100,000 people. We opine that bringing ethnic groups into the empirical research, for a long time living in ethnically different constituent entities of the RF leads to greatly different in subjective assessments of ethnophors in that matter and allows us to achieve the tasks declared (Table 1).

Age Gender of respondents Average in sample (%)
Male (%) Female (%)
18-22 35.5 39.8 38.1
23-29 17.5 14.0 15.4
30-49 33.8 30.4 31.7
Over 50 13.3 15.8 14.8
Total (%) 100.0 100.0 100.0
Ethnic groups Region of living Average in sample (%)
Yaroslavl oblast (%) Vologda oblast (%) Dagestan republic (%)
Russian 64.0 96.7 1.9 56.2
Armenian 20.3 0.0 0.0 10.4
Azerbaijani 14.1 0.0 17.0 11.5
Avar 0.0 0.0 23.6 5.9
Lezgin 0.0 0.0 14.7 3.7
Dargin 0.0 0.0 13.1 3.3
Kumyk 0.0 0.0 9.7 2.4
Other 1.7 3.3 20.1 6.7
Total (%) 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Level of respondents’ education %
High 21.4
Specialized secondary 44.4
Higher 33.9
Total 100.0
Social position of respondents %
Specialist, office worker 21.0
Worker 22.5
Head of organization 3.8
Businessman 3.9
Military 1.1
Pensioner 6.7
Housewife 3.5
Unemployed 3.0
Student/pupil 34.5
Total 100.0
Level of respondents’ welfare %
Low 21.9
Middle 65.8
High 12.3
Total 100.0

Table 1 Social and demographic features of respondents.

The research tasks were declared as follows:

To analyze the specifics which determine the realization of ethnic tolerance in small social groups;

To characterize opinion of respondents about prospective opportunity for socialization of the young generation based on respect to other people and kindness;

To find out the opinions of respondents about integrational potential of tolerance practices via the prism of interethnic cooperation analysis;

To study ethno-integrating and ethno-differentiating components of Russian consolidation/disintegration in self-consciousness of the regional population [24].


We opine that we may begin studying the characteristics affecting the ethnic tolerance in small social groups from the analysis of alternatives in the course of learning by the growing generation of some system of knowledge, norms and values allowing them to function as full and tolerant members of the society.

Operationalizing tolerance as a system of social cooperation norms and attitudes to various manifestations of social and cultural diversity regulating social links in various spheres of public life we asked the respondents the question: Which below qualities, as you opine, are important for inculcate during child raising? We managed to find that, as opined by respondents, the most attention needs to be focused during the socialization course on breeding honesty (21.3%), diligence (16.3%) and politeness (14.6%) and respect to other people (14.2%). The most unpopular variant (obedience) made up 2.1% (Table 2).

During child raising, the following should be inculcated… Out of respondents’ answers Out of respondents
Honesty 21.3% 70.5%
Diligence 16.3% 54.0%
Politeness and social training 14.6% 48.3%
Respect to other people 14.2% 46.8%
Kindness 11.1% 36.8%
Good manners 10.2% 33.6%
Self-control 10.2% 33.6%
Obedience 2.1% 6.8%
Total 100.0% 330.5%
*A few variants of answers were possible. *(N=1200, January-October 2014, %)

Table 2 Distribution of answers to the question which below qualities, as you opine, are important for inculcate during child raising?

Meantime, the need to pay attention to honesty was specified by both men and women regardless from the age, but low-educated (72.4%) and low-income respondents (77.0%), Dagestan ethnic groups-Kumyks (92.0%), Avars (85.0%) and Dargins (73.7%), while the actuality of socialization with politeness and social training was stressed by the respondents under 30 (48.6-52.9% of men and 54.5-59.0% of women) with general high education (52.1%), and most frequently, Dargins (77.4%), Lezgins (73,7%) or Azerbaijanis (73.7%). The importance of training in children of respect to other people was most frequently specified by Azerbaijani (65.3%) and Avar ethnic groups (53.3%), girls 18-22 (52.9%), respondents which have no experience of demonstrating personal antipathy to people due to ethnic differences (51.2%), low-educated respondents (50.7%), middle-income respondents (48.2%), young people 23-29 (45.6%). Meantime, kindness as an important breeding component in general is specified in 11.1% of respondents’ answers, most frequently declared by 40.0% of the respondents experiencing no antipathy from other ethnic groups by nationality, as well as respondents 18-22 (39.6%), Azerbaijanis (66.1%) and Lezgins (47.4%), respondents with above average income (38.2%-39.7%), with specialized secondary education (39.7%). Over 1/3 of the respondents which specified a single case in answering the question Have you ever freely expressed any antipathy to people of a certain nation? Opine that in child raising self-control should be given attention (40.9%).

Meantime, in general, as per our research, only 21.3% of respondents faced unfriendly attitude due to ethnic belonging while the share of respondents admitting the facts of own free antipathy to other ethnic groups by nationality reached over 1/3 of all the answers (40.8%). Also, despite the absence of a universal theory of social cooperation in sociology, we, sharing the idea of Kutyavina Ye.Ye., were judging from the assumption that interethnic means the interaction parties of which define themselves or their cooperation partners as possessing some ethnic features, connecting their expectations with each other’s ethnic belonging and respectively coordinate their actions [25].

To have the view of integration potential of the tolerance practices in the Russian society we offered the respondents in the research regions to assess by 7-points scale how important for them is, on one hand, keeping peace between peoples and, on the other hand, equality of human rights and freedoms. Having calculated the average and the respective standard deviation we fixed that average values are rather well representing the uniformity of answers of the respondents analyzed. Also we found that keeping peace between peoples with the average 6.32 (σ = 1.118) has great significance and unanimity in the views of the respondents compared to the significance of observing human rights and freedoms with the average 5.93 (σ = 1.35, evidencing great diversity in the distribution of answers to that question) (Table 3).

How important for you personally is… Average value Standard deviation
keeping peace between peoples in our country 6.32 1.118
equality of human rights and freedoms regardless nationality 5.93 1.348

Table 3 Distribution of answers to the question: How important for you personally is the following… (N=1200, January-October 2014, % of respondents).

The actuality in the contemporary conditions of keeping peace between peoples in our country is most frequently specified by over 2/3 of the respondents over 30-72.4% (differences between distributions may be considered reliable, as well as by 70.6% of Dagestan and 66.3% of Yaroslavl oblast respondents. The level of practical realization of human rights and freedoms regardless nationality is assessed at 7 points by 63.9% of Dagestan respondents, 51.9% of respondents with at least specialized secondary education.

Analyzing the answers to the question Please assess how much you value the following features in people: patience, social training, kindness? we found that in interpersonal cooperation the respondents demonstrated the highest values and conformity in assessing social training and kindness (6.26 and 6.21 respectively) compared to patience-5.91 (Table 4).

How much do you value in people… Average value Standard deviation
social training 6.26 1.019
kindness 6.21 1.094
patience 5.91 1.244

Table 4 Distribution of answers to the question: Please assess how much you value the following features in people… (N=1200, January-October 2014, % of respondents).

Social training was higher assessed in people by Armenians living in Yaroslavl oblast-69.4% and polyethnic Dagestan’s respondents - 74.1%.

Patience as a human personal quality is the most significant according to the opinion of: first, 56.6% of Dagestan respondents, out of which Kumyks (84.0%) and Avars (66.1%); second - 63.6% of Azerbaijani respondents living both in Dagestan and Yaroslavl oblast. Kindness as an important feature is specified also by the respondents with specialized secondary education - 58.4%.

To reasonably regulate the interethnic relations as well as from the point of view of closer consideration of the ethnic identity establishment mechanism and finding the specifics of ethnic tolerance manifestation it is important to understand where the ethnics are rather stably saved in the contemporary society. It causes the study of distinctive components in the stricture of ethno-integrating features of ethnic self-consciousness of the regional population. The specifics of representation of the above characteristics were found using the question What do you think makes you closer with other Russia’s nations? In the leading positions among the ethno-integrating factors of Russia’s nations as opined by the regional population, are: place of living of Russians (43.8% of respondents), historical fate and past of peoples (40.5%), language (33.1%), customs/traditions (24.9%) and lifestyle (23.0%). Meantime, the place of living being in the first position in ethno-integrating features dominates in respondents’ answers in Armenians (53.7%), respondents living in Yaroslavl oblast (48.8%), and middle-income groups (47.6%). Language was specified most frequently by low-income respondents (44.0%), respondents in polyethnic Dagestan or Vologda oblast (39.3% and 38.8% respectively), as well as respondents over 30 (37.3%), being ethnic Kumyks (72.0%), Avars (44.1%) or Russians (35.7%).

Answering the question What do you think makes you closer with other Russia’s nations? points to the lifestyle by each fourth respondent having no personal experience of negative interethnic relations (24.7%) or at least 1/3 of the respondents which admitted a single case of antipathy to people due to nationality (32.8%), as well as people with specialized secondary education (26.9%).

Common culture as the uniting feature of nations in the vast Russia was positioned most frequently by the respondents selfidentified ethnically as Avars (39.0%) or Lezgins (37.8%), living in Dagestan (31.1%) or Vologda oblast (20.2%), low-income people (24.5%), highly educated groups (21.9%) and women (20.3%). The integration potential of the historical past of Russia’s nations is implicit as the differentiated analysis by that parameter in view of basic social and demographic groups did not show any significant statistical differences.

Meantime, the set of representations forming the system of ethno-differentiating characteristics is worked out on the basis of social self-representations about own and other ethnic groups. The ethnicity-based differentiating factors were specified by each second respondent as customs and traditions (54.0%), while over 1/3 of the respondents specified language (46.6%) and almost ¼ of the respondents called lifestyle as the dividing marker (23.6%). Answering the questions What do you opine are the differences between your nation and other Russia’s nations? equally showed the principal differences in personal characteristics, psychology or behavior model of over 1/5 of the respondents (21.6% and 21.4% respectively).

Customs and traditions were specified as the dividing marker most frequently by the respondents which once faced unfriendly attitude due to nationality (63.4%), and those living in Vologda oblast (63.0%) or Dagestan (59.9%). In the lifestyle of Russian nations the basic differences are found by polyethnic society’s respondents (30.6%), among which Avars answered so most frequently (37.9%), Lezgins (29.7%) or Kumyks (28.0%); the respondents self-identified as Russians (25.9%). Potential language differences as national differentiation were specified most frequently by Avars (58.6%), low-educated respondents (57.9%), Dagestan residents (53.6%) or Vologda oblast residents (52.3%).

Kin feeling is a differentiating factor as opined by Yaroslavl oblast residents (12.7%). External anthropological features (appearance) were specified by respondents with high education (22.7%), high income (23.4%), and the respondents which admitted single case of experiencing unfriendly attitude to them due to their nationality (28.7%).

Religion was called a differentiating factor in interethnic relation by Kumyks (32.0%), Lezgins (32.4%), low income respondents (23.6%) or Vologda oblast residents (21.0%). Among the respondents admitting repeated facts of expressing own antipathy to other nationalities or among well-educated respondents onethird opines that the basis for ethno-differentiating features of Russia’s nations are different personal characteristics, psychology of ethnic groups (28.5% and 27.4% respectively) or behavioral pattern (28.5%).

Contemplating the above point, historical past differences are specified most frequently by the respondents with negative experience of interethnic cooperation (i.e., those facing antipathy due to their nationality - 21%) or Armenians (19.4%).


The tasks of finding prospective opportunities for the socialization of the growing generation based on the principles creating the basis for tolerant interactions allowed to fix that, as opined by respondents, during the course of socialization it is most frequently required to focus on honesty (21.3%), diligence (16.3%) and politeness (14.6%) and respect to others (14.2%).

The analysis of interethnic cooperation found: last year each firth respondent experienced unfriendly attitude due to his/her nationality; while the share of respondents admitting the facts of expressing own antipathy to other ethnic groups by nationality reached over 1/3 of all answers (40.8%). We suggest that a great difference in replies to the questions about positive/negative experience of interethnic cooperation possibly evidences overestimated demonstration by the respondents of own behavioral pattern evidencing ephemeral courage in showing free antipathy by nationality.

Considering the integration potential of tolerance practices in the Russian society allowed to find: keeping peace between peoples in our country has greater significance and unanimity in respondents’ minds rather than equality of human rights and freedoms regardless nationality. Meantime, in interpersonal cooperation, respondents think social training and kindness are more important for people rather than patience [26-30].

Among the ethno-integrating factors of Russia’s nations, as opined by the regional respondents, are: territorial characteristic (43.8% of respondents), historical fate, past of the nations (40.5%), language (33.1%), customs/traditions (24.9%) and lifestyle (23.0%). It should be noted that, as we opine, the role of common historical fate as a national unity symbol in the contemporary conditions grows on the background of ethnic cultures’ unification along with steady decrease of ethnodifferentiating factors. In general, the data obtained may be interpreted as follows: for all-Russian consolidation, in the structure of bringing together factors in the self-consciousness of the regional population the obvious, objective ethno-integrating characteristics dominate (in particular, place of living, historical past of nations, language) [28]. The ethnicity-based differentiating factors were called by respondents as follows: customs/traditions (54.0%), language (46.6%), lifestyle (23.6%), as well as different personal characteristics, psychology or behavioral pattern (21.6% and 21.4% respectively.


To solve the contemporary problems in interethnic relations and expansion of constructive tolerance practices, the implementation of the following actions is feasible:

- To further improve the regulations required for the solution of the tasks put forward in regulating ethno-national relations and state’s national policy, its entities/regions and municipalities;

- To popularize the cultural inheritance of the country and provide and ensure the succession of propaganda by primary and secondary socialization agents (family, educational institutions, staff groups, mass media);

- To successfully, regularly and systematically implement information and propaganda events in improving the unity of the Russian nation and ethno-cultural development of nations;

- To arrange and combine ethno-cultural educational activity with that in the field, in educational/volunteer/public organizations;

- To approach the popularization of interethnic cooperation and improvement of civil unity among various categories and groups of population in a differentiated way accounting for both social and demographic specifics and the nature of interethnic cooperation which determine the efficiency of propaganda.


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