Emotional Components Of Religiousness Among Students In Kazakhstan

Abstract

The present paper measures the interconnection between religiousness and emotionality among Kazakhstan students. In fact, according to John Corrigan ( 2000 ) emotion plays a fundamental role in religion and over the past decade the academic study of emotion has developed substantially across a number of disciplines, including religious studies and psychology. This article presents the results of research of the religiousness and emotionality among students of Kazakhstan. Does religiousness as a socially-psychological virtue influence to the self-attitude and emotional mood of students in Kazakhstan is the main research question of this study. The present study is based on the idea of Glock and Stark ( 1965 ) who have been influential in defining religious orientations, origins, and dimensions. The purpose of this study is to find out whether the components of religiousness among students in Kazakhstan has a correlation with their emotionality. This research study has involved 136 students aged between 17 to 25 years attending Kazakhstan Universities. And it uses "The emotional level" questionnaire ( Ilyin, 2011 ), also as religiousity questionnaire ( Suchkova, 2009 ). Measuring the religiousness and emotionality showed that the religiousness level among students of Kazakhstan is quite high, even if they don’t practice any religion; the level of their religiousness is 67%. However, the emotionality level seems to at an average level. The T-Test analysis revealed significant paired correlation (sig. 0.01**) between high and middle religiousness level and the same emotionality level among students of Kazakhstan. The low level of researched scales did not show any significant connections. Measuring the religiousness and emotionality showed that the religiousness level among students of Kazakhstan is quite high.

Keywords: Emotionreligiousnessstudents

Introduction

Kazakhstan has historically hosted a wide variety of ethnic groups with varying religions. The foundation of an independent republic, following the disintegration of the USSR, has launched a great deal of changes in every aspect of people's lives. Religiosity of the population, as an essential part of any cultural identity, has undergone dynamic transformations as well (International Religious Freedom Report, 2017). After decades of suppressed culture, the people were feeling a great need to exhibit their ethnic identity – in part through religion. Empirical research shows that for the first years after the establishment of the new laws, waiving any restrictions on religious beliefs and proclaiming full freedom of confessions, the country experienced a huge spike in religious activity of its citizens e specially among youth and students. However the main concern of this study is whether the religiousness feelings of Kazakh students are interconnected with their emotions, especially during the educational process.

According to Glock and Stark (1965) within all world religions there are universal dimensions. They are ideological (beliefs), intellectual (knowledge or cognitive), ritualistic (traditional behaviour) and experiential (experiences defined as religious in the sense of arousing feelings or emotions), and consequential (application in the secular world). The idea of having religiousness activity among Kazakh youth in the sense of feelings and emotions is the issue of our interest.

Understanding psychologically religion, spirituality, and irreligion (for brevity, “religion”) as a domain of human life involving personality, cognition, emotions, and leading to social consequences is certainly a legitimate and important task for personality and social psychology. Research on this domain, innovative in both theory and methodology, has importantly developed in the last 15 years. People may experience and express their religious attitudes—positive or negative ones—somehow independently from their own or any religious culture (Flanagan & Jupp, 2007). Yet, people deal with religious beliefs, experiences, values, and communities that have been socially shaped and legitimated. Thus, the individual and social dimensions are related (e.g., Wolf, 2005). Emotion plays a fundamental role in religion. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, theorists ranging from Friedrich Schleiermacher and Rudolf Otto to Emile Durkheim, Sigmund Freud, and William James attempted to define that role. Whether the emphasis was on the power of emotion to bind social collectives or on emotion in religion as “oceanic feeling” or “feeling of absolute dependence,” most writing about religion proceeded on the assumption that human emotionality was a constituent element of religious life. In the latter part of the twentieth century, theories of religion that emerged especially from the social sciences reiterated the claim that emotion was central to religion. In the work of Robert Bellah, Clifford Geertz, and, eventually, Rodney Stark, “feeling” of one sort or another was integral to religion (Bellah, 1970). But in these theories, and others of the time, emotion itself remained largely undefined. The present study focused on what religious variables were useful in predicting educational pursuit and either positive or negative educational perceptions among Kazakhstan students, because the religiousity level is tend to be very high among them.

Problem Statement

Religiousness is a complicated, integrative social-psychological characteristic. However, the issue of whether religiosity influences the emotional components of Kazakhstan students was investigated in our study.

Research Questions

Does religiousness as a socially-psychological virtue influence the self-attitude and emotional mood of students in Kazakhstan?

Purpose of the Study

The present study is based on the idea of Glock and Stark (1965) who have been influential in defining religious orientations, origins, and dimensions. The purpose of this study is to find out whether the components of religiousness among students in Kazakhstan has correlation with their emotionality during their academic activity.

Research Methods

This research study involved 136 students aged between 17 to 25 years attending a number of Kazakhstan universities. "The emotional level" questionnaire by Ilyin (2011), and the religiousity questionnaire by Suchkova (2009) were used to obtain the data to answer the research question.

Findings

Results of Religiousness level among Kazakh students

Descriptive statistics for the Religiousness level among students showed that 67% of students tend to accept themselves as a religious person, in comparison with the 30% and 3% of average and low level of religiousness respectively. The review revealed that a vast majority of the students exploring the relationship between religiosness and their emotionality during their academic activity (see figure 1 .)

Figure 1: The religiousness level among students in Kazakhstan
The religiousness level among students in Kazakhstan
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As seen in figure 1 , more than half of the participants tend to accept themselves as religious compared to the remaining 33% of the participants.

The results of emotionality level among Kazakh students

The emotionality was tested via Suvorova’s "emotional level" questionnaire (Ilyin, 2011). As a result, over a third showed a low level of emotional expression, which probably indicated that they avoided remembering past emotional experiences; also over a third showed emotionality in middle range, and the rest had a high level of emotional expression (see figure 2 .).

Figure 2: The emotionality level of Kazakhstan students
The emotionality level of Kazakhstan students
See Full Size >

As it seen in figure 2 , the majority of students experience their emotions at the average level, which probably confirms the idea of tolerance of religious attitude among youth of Kazakhstan.

T-test analysis of Religiousness and emotionality among Kazakh students

The T-Test analysis revealed significant paired correlation (sig. 0.01**) between high and middle religiousness level and the same emotionality level among the students. The low level of researched scales didn't show any significant connections.

Conclusion

Measuring the religiousness and emotionality showed that the religiousness level among students of Kazakhstan is quite high, even if they don’t practice any religion the level of their religiousness is 67%. However the emotionality level seems to be in the average level. Significant correlation revealed between high and middle religiousness level and the same emotionality level among students of Kazakhstan. Thus, the idea of having the religiousness activity among Kazakhstan youth in the sense of feelings and emotions has theoretical and practical implementations. So answering the question: does religiousness as a socially-psychological virtue influence to the self-attitude and emotional mood of students in Kazakhstan, the results of present study shows-yes it does. There are significant interconnection beetween religiousness level and the same emotionality level among students of Kazakhstan.

Acknowledgments

Heartfelt thanks to the valued study subjects, who participated in the process of study despite their academic activity.

References

  1. Bellah, R. (1970). Beyond Belief: Essays on Religion in a Post‐traditional World. New York, NY: Harper and Row.
  2. Corrigan, J., Crump, E., & Kloos, J. (2000). Emotion and Religion: A Critical Assessment and Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. (pp. 121–74) “Theological Studies.”
  3. Flanagan, K. & Jupp, P. C. (Eds.). (2007). A sociology of spirituality. Burling- ton, VT: Ashgate.
  4. Glock, C. Y. & Stark. R. (1965). Religion and society in tension. Chicago: Rand McNally.
  5. Ilyin, Е. P. (2011). Emotion and feelings. St.Petersburg:
  6. Kazakhstan – International Religious Freedom Report (2017). Retrieved from doi: https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/281268.pdf 
  7. Wolf, C. (2005). Measuring religious af liation and religiosity in Europe. In J. H. P. Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik & J. Harkness (Eds.), Methodological aspects in cross-national research (ZUMA-Nachrichten Spezial 11) (pp. 279–294). Mannheim: ZUMA.
  8. Suchkova, O.V. (2009). Social-psychological aspects of religiousness among youth. St.Petersburg.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.01.42

Online ISSN

2357-1330