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Pavlovsky I. I. Ethnic identity: theoretical aspect

The paper is devoted to questions of ethnic identity, national consciousness and socio-cultural adaptation. The author claims that ethnic identity manifests in contacts with ‘other’ cultural environment. It is an elective and flexible category and it depends on external factors (climate, social relations, historical and cultural background, cultural distance between ‘own’ and ‘foreign’ cultures, degree of ‘culture shock’) and on the personal motivation and it results in a final ‘self-image’ (I-social, I-national, I-religious, etc.). Ethnic consciousness seems to be constant and a broader phenomenon. It manifests on the cognitive, emotional and volitional levels and includes ethnic identity.

The author also defines a number of sociocultural adaptation degrees (from the weakest one — denial, to the highest one): marginalization, separation, accommodation, assimilation, integration.

The paper emphasizes the importance of language in constructing or rebuilding a person’s image of the world, being an indicator of their ethnic identity.

Keywords: ethnic consciousness, ethnic identity, socio-cultural adaptation, self-image, a picture of the world.

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