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Nikitina E. V. Genesis of the Concepts of Mentality and Ethnomentality

The article presents an overview of foreign and domestic historical, psychological, philosophical, culture and anthropological literature on the subject of mentality and ethnic mentality. The author also made ​​an attempt to define and to identify the contents of these concepts.

The author notes that capacious and supple concept of ‘mentality’ covers all aspects of human existence, and with regard to ethnicity it is manifested in political, cultural, economic, religious, labour, gender, and other aspects. Mentality is an integral characteristic of people living within a particular culture, which enables to describe their peculiar vision of the world and to explain the specificity of the response to it. Mentality is a powerful means of human behaviour regulation.

It is indicated that the concept of ‘ethnic mentality’ affects three main spheres of human activity — behaviour, communication and cognition, beyond which the given sociocultural phenomenon does not exist. Ethnic mentality is a specific way of thinking that is common to the members of one ethnic group. It is due to social factors, genetic characteristics, and psychological constitution of the people and it is expressed in identical behaviour, language, philosophical views. Its holders do not always articulate ethnic mentality, so in the context of different periods it is reconstructed in comparison with different peoples’ mentalities.

Keywords: mentality, ethnic mentality, ethnic consciousness and ethnic character, the ethnic unconscious, mentality and ethnic mentality researches in foreign and domestic humanities.

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