The complex and tense processes that occur in the modern world are a consequence of people’s behavior in society and reflect features of their consciousness and outlook formed through education and culture. It is important to find ways and means that would lead to harmonious cooperation and mutual understanding among people. Therefore, we analyze the aspects of influence of the cultural level on the choice of a modern university graduate’s behavior in the conflict, which is the purpose of our study. The results of the theoretical study led to the conclusion that the level of culture is largely determined by and depends on the level of education. As for the professional success – it is connected with the ability to communicate and conduct a constructive dialogue with the partner and to correctly choose the strategy of behavior in the conflict. The application of the model of the evolutionary cone at the present stage of the development of human society reveals the whole variety of behavioral strategies distinguished by K. Thomas. The study found that for mankind’s evolutionary changes it is necessary to raise its cultural level, which will change its consciousness, provide a transition to the collective conscious and a choice of the cooperation behavioral strategy. The experimental studies made it possible to form a special educational space and develop a system of pedagogical influence and technology to raise the cultural level of the trainees so that their choice of behavior in the conflict shifted from rivalry to cooperation.
Keywords: Cooperationchoice of behavior in the conflictcultureevolutionary development of societystudentuniversity
Higher education in the global world
The modern world is a world of global problems, the one characterized by growing chaos and disharmony. Only by means of common efforts the problems of mankind’s future existence can be solved. Today we are talking about a "hidden treasure", capable of changing society and becoming a guiding light on the way to people's harmonic relationships and harmonic world. It is education, the apex of which is studying at university. According to the Working Paper adopted at the UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education (Paris, October 5-9, 1998), today’s higher education has to perform "the functions of a watchman and a torch: at the times of crisis of values, it is called upon to play an ethical role of a guiding nature".
The time has come when it is impossible to postpone the issue of reforming education further - it is necessary to build an educational building that meets the laws of evolution and is guided by them. Mastering a profession presupposes presence of higher school graduates’ professional knowledge and skills. Future university graduates should understand that everything in life has its place and its own measure. But the most important moment of their formation is understanding that every professional carrying culture brings the result of his creative work to the world and this should help people in their life, decorate it, and be useful. However, the process of creative work should not end with completion of a product; it is just a statement of the fact. The result of professional work must be demanded by people, and mature professional pieces of work have to turn into products of perpetual use and become an effective heritage of mankind. To realize this, a higher school student has to master the content of culture as a spirit of human perfection with its responsibility and moral purity. The latter implies mastery of philosophical and cultural knowledge as well as formation of the collective conscious. This allows you to learn and comprehend the world, have a system of comprehensive knowledge of the basic principles and foundations of human existence, of the most common characteristics of the human attitude to nature, society, spiritual life in all of their manifestations and interrelations in order to find new worldview points through understanding social components of culture, their critical analysis and development on this basis of a new attitude to the content and results of the work.
Demographic explosion, conflict interactions and culture
At the same time, contacts among people in modern society are becoming more intense and the stability of human relationships is conditioned by language communication and proper behavior in the conflict. Personal professional knowledge and skills, along with spiritual and communicative qualities ensure stability in professional activities. An individual who undergoes the process of socialization and personal formation should actively work, participate in the social life, show an active life position, an initiative and leadership qualities and, finally, strive to active and lifelong learning secrets of the universe and then use them for the benefit of humanity.
Such modern demands for socialization once again confirm that the evolution of each person is based on culture. Unfortunately, too little attention is paid to culture today, and it leads to increasing cruelty and growing mutual hatred and misunderstanding. In our opinion, life of a future university graduate deprived of educational cultural space, loses its foundation and meaning. Culture is valuable precisely because of its interconnection and catholicity.
A person with a true culture baggage can in future count on progress in the professional activity because, choosing the path of constructive relations in communication he can create and embody his highest and most beautiful thoughts and aspirations. It is culture that, as a synthesis of human values, norms, language and symbols can help individuals change the consciousness in the evolutionary direction and solve complex life situations in general, and conflict situations in particular. In this difficult process the apodictive basis providing progress of human society is implementation of training and education in the course of vocational training in the culture space.
Culture and professional activity
Scientific publications devoted to culture are presented in works of a significant amount of authors: throughout centuries culture was a subject of active scientific discussion. The analysis of forms of human activity in their development in the cultural space of different peoples and in the interaction of cultures, as well as generation of cultural and historical types, was executed by Danilevsky (2016) in the work "Russia and Europe".
Spengler (2017) presented questions of changing the culture style in his research "The Decline of the West"; Toynbee (1946) showed the fate of the civilization and the problem of progress – in his work "A Study of History". Sorokin’s (1947) unique work "The Person. Civilization. Society" occupies a special place in the creation of theoretical ideas of cultural development and its evolution.
An aspiration to explain the phenomena occurring in culture and to reconsiderate the existing ideas of cultural development was the reason for the emergence of the works with new theoretical approaches to cultural history. These are M. Kagan, R. Abdeyev, A. Akhiyezer, Yu. Yakovts's works, etc. Let us note that Kagan (2018) considers culture as a spontaneous system in the work "The Philosophy of Culture". He believes that the potential for changing is laid in the culture itself: person defines the purposes and means of his activity through his requirement and ability independently, i.e. by reason, and not just according to the instinctive program. According to the scientist, the main thing here is creativity which awakens the moral and ethical sphere and spirituality of the person.
Bolshakov (2000) considers culture to be a form of humanity. Miovska-Spaseva (2013) analyzes a humanistic mission of education. Features of culture and higher education in a globalized world are considered by Motornaya (2014a). The influence of culture on the formation of the spiritual and moral image of a future specialist is
At the same time, in spite of the fact that studies of culture and the related aspects are presented rather widely, the questions of influence of a personal culture level on the choice of behavior in a conflict situation, among young people in particular, are not studied in the sufficient volume.
The problem of conflicts in the educational environment
On the other hand, the problem of conflicts and its connection with culture is presented in the works of contemporary authors. Bardin et al. (2017) make an analytical study of the regulation of ethnopolitical conflict and the maintenance of civil consent in the conditions of cultural diversity. Kornilova, Chumakova, & Krasavtseva (2018) conclude that there are very few differences in the social behavior of students who belong to different cultures. The destructive consequences of the impact of computers in the educational space of society, which lead to a change in the psyche of students and intrapersonal conflict, are noted by Stosic (2014), Ahn (2011). Consequences that cause aggressive behavior, conflicts are emphasized Gentile, Lynch, Linder, & Walsh (2004).
However, the problem of the choice of behavior in the conflict by modern young people is not paid due attention (the theoretical base of the problem was formed by K. Thomas.) The problem exists and needs searching factors which would form the progressive choice of behavior in the youth conflict from the point of view of the evolutionary development of human society. The fate of the planet will depend on it.
In the present work we have allocated two objects of research: a university student, the future graduate, and the influence of culture on his choice of behavior in the conflict. The hypothesis of the research suggests that there is a link between the level of culture of the modern university graduate and his choice of a behavioral strategy in the conflict.
So the tasks of the research are the following:
on the basis of the theoretical analysis of the scientific literature to define the concept of ‘culture’ and consider what its levels depend on,
then to develop and carry out a technique of formation of the appropriate level of culture,
as well as to analyze the youth’s choice of a strategy of behavior in the conflict
to reveal connections between the level of culture and the choice of behavior in the conflict by students of different ages.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of our work is research of the influence of the modern university graduate’s culture level on the choice of his behavioral strategy in the conflict.
In our work we used such theoretical methods as: comparison, analysis, synthesis, generalization, abstraction, analogy, as well as some special methods. Thus, the systematic approach was chosen as a methodological tool and applied to the processes of the analysis of the scientific direction of the human cultural development.
The concept of culture is interpreted by different representatives of the scientific world in different ways. We find the first definition of culture in E. Tylor's book “The Primitive Culture”. The richness and diversity of culture are so comprehensive that they generated the existence of about a thousand definitions of culture by today. In our study we adhere to the translation of the word ‘culture’ from the Sanskrit and the Druid languages as "worship of light," that is, the worship of the higher principle, the meaning of the existence of the Universe.
The most important social components of culture alongside with values and norms are the language and symbols. They are a way of creating culture, means of information transfer and determine, first of all, the university graduate’s picture of the world, his structure of thinking, special interests and problems. It is the language that becomes a way of learning the world and allows a person to realize the vital task in the professional activity. The ideals of the higher culture are similar everywhere, and this opens up opportunities for realizing the comparability of academic cultures, lays the groundwork for convergence of nations and peoples in solving educational problems, the movement from comparability to compatibility, cooperation and the individual evolution.
Social experience includes elements, each of which differs in its content and functions in preservation and development of culture, in personal formation. The first element is the knowledge that conduces to creation of ideas about the world and orients in activity; then it is the experience in implementation of methods of activity resulting in new knowledge and skills whose functions are to reproduce and preserve the accumulated culture; it is also the experience of creative activity, contributing to the development of culture; it is finally the experience of emotion and value approach to reality, to one's activity, to oneself, i.e. the norms and the system of value relations of the given society to certain objects of reality that regulate the selective attitude to the phenomena of reality. Personal qualities that are properly formed allow young people to move up the career ladder confidently. If they aspire to occupy a leading position, they should go through the formation of the most important steps in the resultful development of education: from literacy of the language and speech to education, then to the professional competence and culture. As a result of this path, the university graduate becomes a bearer of the mentality and provides for himself a solid and reliable professional place in the native environment. Therefore, considering the levels of personal culture, we mean their dependence on the level of education: the level of education of a future Master is supposed to be higher than the level of education of a future bachelor; in turn, the level of education of the latter is higher than the level of education of a first-year student or a schoolboy.
In our opinion, by the time of graduation from university, the student should have formed some complex personal neoplasm (new growth) which includes the interaction of the cognitive component, the motivational need component, the moral orientation one and the organizational and communicative component (psychological readiness of a person for the professional activity) as a basis for further professional growth. Any choice of a profession can be viewed as interaction of two sides: a student with his individual characteristics that manifest themselves in physical development, abilities, inclinations, character and temperament, and the specialty with the demands that it makes on a person. With the right choice, personal qualities will satisfy the requirements for the profession. And the future specialist will turn into an indispensable worker: the work will be performed with joy, the ascent of the spirit and ease and will bring satisfaction. At the same time, the quality of labor will anticipate all expectations. The motivation will create the optimal conditions for him as a consequence of the realization of the needs for success, recognition, optimal organization of labor and growth prospects.
The ability to carry out constructive communication and make the right choice of behavior in a conflict is, first of all, connected with communicative, organizational and moral components in the structure of an individual personality. Communicative and organizational tendencies are presented as a set of socially significant qualities of the personality, manifested in activity. Among the most important qualities, we distinguish the ones which determine the positive role of a specialist in the social reality. They are as follows: the ability to positively carry out interaction with people (a tendency to work with people, a requirement of familiarizing with the society, an initiative, etc.); the positive and creative relation to the professional activity which is manifested in the requirement to organizing activity, in fast orientation in difficult situations; an ability to organize and carry out some joint activity. It should be also noted that in today's world the relevant international communicative interactions can be successful only with having practical skills and accounting particular features of business communication with various peoples of the world. And it is impossible without mastering an appropriate level of culture. Such knowledge and skills, as well as the personal qualities which are competence of the future graduate have to be already formed during training at university to provide his strong and reliable career.
Thus, we see that education as a part of culture is responsible for the processes of personal formation, first of all, for the formation of a person’s social components of culture – the language, symbols, norms and values. At the same time there is a change of the outlook and the world picture and the consciousness growth is carried out. However, this complicated process happens in the society where there are both individuals and personalities, where people differ in nationality and religious affiliation, the level of education, intelligence, mentality, culture and, therefore, on the consciousness level. They do not choose only constructive methods of behavior in communication and interpersonal interaction. Hence, conflicts are an essential and integral part of human life on Earth today.
Methods of empirical research
One of the last researches has indicated congenital sources of the conflicts (Granovskaya & Dulenkova, 2014). As for the types of conflicts, we can note that the conflicts where the principle of nature corresponding existence of the person in the Universe is observed and the conflicts which promote forward personal creative improvement have, in general, a positive impact on the human life atmosphere. We can distinguish the intra personal conflict in which a person obtains some new, more progressive and evolutionary personal qualities as a result of the cathartic updating. This process occurs at the level of consciousness and is a reflection of the following dialectic laws: the law of unity and conflict of opposites, the law of transition of quantitative changes in radical qualitative ones, the law of denial of denials. The row below submits to the above process: school student – bachelor undergraduate – master undergraduate (growth of education, consciousness, culture).
Another example can be the conflict of innovations which stimulates general development of creative processes, as a whole, and the main sense of human existence – improvement of the ability to creativity, to independent way of thinking in difficult situations of activity and to its application for the good of social development, in particular.
There are conflicts of another kind which generate wars and destruction of life, humiliate and offend human honor and dignity. Therefore, the question of influence of culture on behavior of the person in the conflict is the one of his conscious ability to choose an attractor which has to coincide with the laws of nature conformity, with the vector of operation of Laws in the Universe, with the power lines of Its development, and, therefore, correspond to the moral orientation of the person.
K. Thomas created the tool for researching the personal predisposition to the choice of behavior in the conflict (2018). There are five behavioral ways: competition, adaptation, compromise, avoidance and cooperation. The scientist believes that in the modern situation "the accent has to be postponed from eliminating the conflicts to managing them". To understand how this approach is expedient, we will analyze the level of development of modern society from the point of view of Astafiev’s (1996) fractal model of the evolutionary cone. While considering the steps of evolution and the transition moments to a more progressive development, Astafiev (1996) allocates four stages in the object evolving process (human society, in our case), these stages being characterized by different levels of entropy and, therefore, an order degree.
Having applied this method to our research, we can note that the highest level of harmony and the minimum level of entropy are characterized by prevalence of the strategy of cooperation. Increasing entropy promotes manifestation of the strategy of rivalry, the further increasing of the degree of chaos leads to emergence of one more prevailing strategy – the compromise, and on the fourth, the last stage of development of the human society, when the level of chaos gets the max value, all variety of the behavioral strategies allocated by K. Thomas is shown. Therefore, when mankind carries out a jump to a new step of evolutionary development owing to the catharsis of the society and due to the process of self-organization of its structures, it has to pass to the prevailing strategy (70 %) – the cooperation including the way of the conflict resolution. It is the evolutionary way; other transitions correspond to degradation and disappearance of the person on the planet.
What are the conditions for changes in the evolutionary development? First of all, it is an appropriate level of peoples’ culture shown at the consciousness level, outlook, and education, moral orientation and at last, in the strategy of the choice of behavior in conflict situations. Coming back to K. Thomas's research, it is possible to note the scientist’s correctness at the present moment (as we found out, it is the time of the fourth phase of the evolutionary cone with the highest entropy and chaos) which suggests passing to management of the conflicts, to concentration of the attention on the strategy of behavior of people in conflict situations, to finding out conditions and ways of personal motivation for stimulation of the constructive behavior in the conflict.
The results of the stating experiment
The theoretical positions obtained in the course of our work required confirmation in the experimental approbation. Therefore, in order to determine the choice of a strategy of behavior in the conflict by modern young people, we have conducted a survey in student groups studying the bachelor's program with the help of K. Thomas's method. The total number of the students who took part in the experiment was 1199 people.
The stating experiment that was conducted for the first-year students showed that 5 % of the respondents chose the avoidance strategy of behavior in the conflict, the adaptation strategy of behavior was chosen by 11 %, the compromise strategy – by 23 %. The largest number of students (51 %) chose the rivalry strategy. And only 10 % chose the cooperation strategy of behavior.
The results of the forming experiment
The results of the stating experiment showed a high level of competition and conflictness among the students. In this regard, it was decided to conduct a formative experiment. For this purpose, a special four-year elective program was developed to improve the level of the student culture in the experimental group of future bachelors.
The program included two elective disciplines, such as "The Art of Creating Relationships among People" and "Art as a Means of Moral Improvement". There were theoretical and practical workshops using the synthesis of words, music, video, aroma; a discussion club, excursions, trainings and other forms of training and education of students. Among the events we can distinguish the specially designed nature-based classes on teaching the skills of folk painting, outdoor activities using natural elements (for example, stones from the sea coast), as well as the implementation of the immersion method in a specially organized space of a specialized room where classes were held. Moreover, in order to form the outlook and humanistic values in the student’s personal structure, annual conferences were held at different levels in the mode of the immersion method implementation, where students could not only receive information, but also come into contact with the heroic deeds of Sevastopol’s living history.
As a result of carrying out the above experiment, the following results were tracked after realization of the program. The avoidance strategy of behavior in the conflict was ignored by students of the experimental group, the adaptation strategy made 2 %, the compromise strategy was chosen by 19 %, and the rivalry one – by 11 %. 68 % of students chose the cooperation strategy of behavior in the conflict.
As for the group of students studying in the general flow, the changes in strategies of behavior in the conflict were as follows: the avoidance strategy of behavior in the conflict was chosen by 4 % of the respondents, the adaptation strategy – 14 %, the compromise strategy – 25 %, the cooperation strategy – 12%, and the rivalry strategy of behavior in the conflict was chosen by 45 % of the respondents.
Consequently, students of the experimental group have made changes in the consciousness from the predominance of individual tendencies to increasing the degree of expression of the collective conscious. Such effect is a consequence of the constant influence of the culture space on the student.
Thus, the growth of the world's population generates numerous contacts and interactions of people, and it leads to conflicts of different levels. This phenomenon is caused by objective reasons. Another question is what kind of behavior a person chooses in a conflict. This is determined just by the fact that the choice of behavior in a conflict is a product of the human consciousness and depends on the level of people’s cultural development.
The research hypothesis was confirmed. There is a link between the level of culture of the contemporary university graduate and his choice of a behavioral strategy in the conflict.
The need for the formation of a special environment of education and upbringing at the higher school
In our study it was proved theoretically and empirically that if in the process of educating students are involved in a specially organized learning environment, the space of culture, then their choice of behavior in the conflict shifts from rivalry to cooperation.
The prospects of further researches
We see our further studies as an improvement of the elective program at the bachelor's level of education, as well as creation of a special program to enhance the level of the cultural development in the magistracy and at the postgraduate level of the university.
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30 December 2018
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Motornaya, S. (2018). Culture, Education, Conflicts: Professional Training Of The Specialist. In V. Chernyavskaya, & H. Kuße (Eds.), Professional Сulture of the Specialist of the Future, vol 51. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 960-969). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2018.12.02.104