The Value System of Today’s Students: From Family Well-Being to Self-Realisation
Keywords:value preferences, questionnaire survey, students, well-being, family, self-realisation
The social changes of the modern era influence young people’s value preferences. This paper presents the results of a comprehensive linguo-cognitive and sociopsychological experimental study by a team of linguists from Ural Federal University, which aims to determine students’ value coordinates. In the first stage, based on the original procedure for revealing the key concepts of Russian mentality, the authors constructed a list of 59 nationwide core values and presented them to 633 first-year students at Ural Federal University. As a result of further content interpretation of the material, the researchers discovered that the generation of young people born in post-Soviet Russia is becoming a bearer of new values. The lack of interest in political institutions, the formation of self-mentalism, and micro-solidarity within the narrow circle of family and close people – these value preferences outlined a core of eight basic concepts, having an abstract nature, which required concretisation. At the next stage, the authors presented a questionnaire including a detailed semantic structure of nuclear concepts to first-year students (650 respondents) to determine the nuclear and peripheral conceptual meanings in students’ language consciousness. The cluster analysis of the material demonstrated that the top level of the dendrogram is occupied by the concept of the well-being of loved ones. The paper reveals the complex semantics of the “well-being” concept and shows the axiological dynamics in comprehending the axiologeme. According to historical and Church Slavonic lexicographic sources, the “well-being” linguistic unit has implicitly combined the values of the material, physical, ideal, and spiritual since the eleventh century. Twentieth-century dictionaries confirm the presence of two zones in the semantics of the concept, i. e. the inseparable unity of the spiritual and the material. Students express their choice in favour of the spiritual side of well-being. The article shows that on the upper levels of the dendrogram, there are four basic values in a complex: the concepts of family, self-realisation, faith, and happiness. Also, the authors confirm the status of the self-realisation value sense for young people at the student level, which is directly related to the family and its well-being. As for the cognitive attributes of the faith concept, the students preferred the selfrealisation value sense, which suggests that the respondents have faith in their abilities and capabilities, positive self-esteem, and trust in themselves. Values related to material well-being are on the periphery of the linguistic consciousness of Ural youth, which does not fit in the general picture of the observed pragmatic attitude of young people to modern reality. It has been suggested that the current picture of the hierarchy of value attributes is declarative: young people who have recently left school have a clear idea of the necessary norms of social behaviour established in Russian society, and they put spiritual values over material ones.
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