Pavlovskaya A. V. Problems of the national character studies
The paper reveals main difficulties in the national character studies: uncertainty and scientific indeterminacy of the notion; imprecisely defined range of national character issues (typical features of a national community, manners, stability of national characteristics, factors of influence on the people’s history); contradictions in the understanding of the concept (whether it exists if individuals form a community, and there are also universal values and laws of social development); evaluation criteria; estimate of the role of stereotypes and auto-stereotypes in the representation of the national character; political aspect of the research (which can lead to chauvinism, racism, etc.). The author proposes two principles of the national character studies: abandoning the absolute and simplification and dividing into ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
The author also identifies several stages and tendencies in the national character studies: 1. from the beginning of the XVIII to the beginning of the XIX centuries. within the philosophy of history (study of the national character, formation factors); 2. In the XIX century, the studies go beyond philosophy and manifest in such disciplines as linguistics, ethnology, anthropology, folklore, psychology, medicine; 3. In the XX century, there are special branches of knowledge for the study of the phenomenon: ethnic psychology and intercultural communication; there is an emphasis on method development (the transition from theory to practical study in the laboratory, in the field, through surveys, etc., for pragmatic purposes — to facilitate intercultural dialogue); 4. XX-XXI centuries — denial of the national character in the globalization context; 5. XXI century — the rise of the national characters studies in Russia.
The author deals with the question of the existence of national characters in the modern world, noting that despite the globalization processes in all socio-economic and cultural spheres, the peoples need to assert their national identity and national character.
Keywords: national character, stereotypes, identity, globalization, the stages of studies.