Formation Of Civil Identity Of Russian Youth As Relevant Task Of Education


The relevance of the presented research is associated with the requirement of educational standards for development of civic identity in students. The authors presented the analysis of identity, determined the place of civic identity in the structure of identities, and presented an understanding of the civic identity of younger students, its structure and pedagogic directions. It is noted that scientists have proven the management of identity. Therefore, its formation is possible, including formation of civic identity of younger school pupils, governed by a methodical system including: goals, content of education and training, means, methods and forms of activities, etc. The article presents results of experimental work on formation of identity among younger students. In addition, as control groups, formation of the identity of students in various areas of study has been investigated. Results of the investigation of development of some micro and macro identities of university students are shown and the dynamics of formation of civic identities when teaching students of environmental qualification are shown. As an integrated personal result of training, education and socialization of students, civic identity presents the awareness of students of their belonging to Russia, a small homeland on common cultural grounds. It has a certain personal meaning manifested in behavior and activities. Society aspires to form such mechanism of youth socialization which would transform the new generation into an organic part and similarity of an already existing society.

Keywords: Identitycivilmanagementformationyoung people


Outside the Russian Federation national territories, the problem of identity is widely discussed in the press. The term “identity” (from the Latin Identificare - to identify) in the interpretation of E. Erickson is defined through the answer to the question “Who are you?” In this case, the answer should be understood as “a constant correlation of a person with his own “I” regardless of his variability”, “a subjective, inspired sense of identity and integrity” (Erickson, 1996). Proceeding from the theory of Erickson, it is possible to assume that: the identity formed under the influence of the external environment presents an individual “internal” component of this impact. It can be conscious, include verbally formed and emotional-figurative and psycho-physiological components. Within the framework of self-awareness, identity performs an internal cognitive function; it performs an external adaptation function in the process of self-presentation. It can change under the influence of various psycho-emotional (including biogenic) and social factors.

Scientific press actively discusses various types of identity. Thus, the article by Jan E. Stets “Role identities and person identities: gender identity, mastery identity, and controlling a partner” poses the problem of identifying people from the perspective of gender identity, methods of its formation and evaluation of success of this activity (Stets, 1995). Stets, and Carter (2011), in “The Moral Identity: A Principle Level Identity”, address the principle of moral identity with respect to identity management.

Cote Ja.E. in the article “Sociological perspectives of identity formation: the culture-identity link and identity capital” addresses the sociological perspectives of identity formation (its cultural-identical line) (Cote & Schwartz, 2002).

Skorikov and Vondracek (1998) in “Vocational Identity Development and Development Identity” substantiate professional identity and attempt to identify its relationship to other identity domains.

Mitroshenkov (2011) holds the idea that identities can be constructed and managed, which is not denied in philosophical and scientific literature and social practice. The factors that influence identity and change its characteristics through “soft power” are the Internet, economic and informational expansion into all regions of the world. The use of “soft power” in influencing identity occurs gradually. The process of changing or deconstructing an identity is stretched for a long time. In this case, the main functions are as follows: goal setting, planning, organization, coordination, motivation, control. They are typical for the management of any identities.

Problem Statement

A number of scientific publications are devoted to the formation of civic identity, including the work of Efimenko, and Stafeeva (2014) in their article “Pedagogic interpretation of civil identity concept”. This article considers the methodology of identities, the pedagogical interpretation of the concept of civic identity. Shergaliyeva considers the main approaches and concepts of the structure and development of social, personal, ethnic and civic identities, their interaction and interconnection (Efimenko & Stafeeva, 2014).

Zamaletdinova, Akhmetshina, Khrapal (2015) in the work “Student civil society education and tertiary institution”, they draw attention to the importance of the formation of civic identity in international educational space. As the main approach, researchers determine the competence approach, which allows, in their opinion, students to use acquired knowledge, skills, experience and ways of behaving in a particular situation or activity.

Cochina (2016) in her work “The proceedings of interregional youth scientific and educational forum “Patriotism, education, studentship” point out that one of the indicative signs of civic identity is the feeling of patriotism that should manifest itself in a person from the preschool age. At the same time, the author draws attention to the fact that the work in accordance with the state program “Patriotic education of citizens of the Russian Federation” must be diversified, with active cooperation of cultural institutions (museums, libraries), participation in All-Russian conferences, forums, projects and actions

In the article “Civil identity in the structure of social identity of modern young people” T. Shamovskaya and Gorbunova (2016) consider the problems of formation and development within the framework of social civic identity of modern youth. The authors of the article rely on the fact that one of the most important goals of Federal Educational Standard is the formation of civic identity as a means of strengthening Russian statehood. Based on the understanding of identity as the idea of a person on his “I”, characterized by the subjective feeling of his individual self-identity and integrity, the authors believe that it is acquired in the course of individual development and presents the result of processes of socialization, identification, and personal integration.

However, Mitroshenkov (2011) notes that identity management is possible, but it is possible in different degrees. Thus microidentity (consumption, corporate, etc.) can be formed faster and more specifically. Macroidentity requires more effort over a longer period of time (ethnic, social, civil, etc.) (Mitroshenkov, 2011). The formation of a new identity occurs as a result of a targeted impact on a new human substrate. Social processes associated with the emergence of civic identity are determined by the structure of society, while at the same time; identities can regulate the social structure, maintain it, modify or re-form it (Ruchkin, 1999). According to individual authors, social identity includes civic identity, by which the awareness by an individual of his belonging to the community of citizens of a particular state on a general cultural basis is meant (Shikova, 2009). Following the theory of Baumeisters (1986), it can be stated that modern Russian society is characterized by a crisis of civic identity. On the one hand, there is a focus on the values of individualism and a liberal consumer society, on the other - the historically established values of collectivism and spiritual commonality. Such contradictions do not contribute to the formation of a mature civic identity. The crisis of the identity of an individual and society is fundamental among the conflicts and contradictions of modern Russia. According to Mitroshenkov (2011), the destruction of traditional social ties and the state education system has significantly reduced the role of the previously dominant institutions of socialization - family and school primarily.

The formation of civic identity of young people in modern society is influenced by: 1) disorientation and problems of social adaptation of young people; 2) the insecurity future in terms of social status; 3) the contradictory and intermittent nature of the socialization of young people; 4) forced competition with people of more mature age; 5) the lack of a clear image of an adult; 6) forced independence, autonomy of modern youth; 7) atomization and mass character of modern youth (Mitroshenkov, 2011). The complexity of the formation of civic identity is characterized by the peculiarities of the socialization of young people, which can be viewed as tasks of a more harmonious formation.

Research Questions

What may present the subject of this article? The researchers pay attention to the intersection of education, pedagogic and practical activities in the context of the identity of an individual and the state as a whole (for example, the ratio of micro- and macro-identities in the identity of an individual, especially the younger generation); there is a need for research conducted with the residents of a particular region, the state as a whole (to study their relationship to their own country, place of residence as a citizen).

The subject of the article is presented by the search for ways to overcome social crisis - the crisis of the management of the formation of civic identity among children and young people, which, in combination with national and ethnic, reflect the integrity and quality of global relations, and represent the social identity of a group (society). Within the country, the civic identity of society acquires the status of a state.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the research is to conduct an aspect analysis of the concept of “identity”, to identify the essential foundations of civic identity of a person, taking into account contemporary pedagogical tasks, to clarify the understanding of civic identity as a category reflecting the specifics of the formation of integrity and quality of world relations of the subject of education.

Research Methods

Since identity is formed in the contact zone of individual and social, it is always defined as “internal”, constructive-cognitive and psycho-emotional factors (“personality”, “individual”), and external, sociocultural factors (“social reality”, “other”) (Dryaeva & Dubrovsky, 2017). The study, including civic identity, involves different approaches. However, under current conditions, a phenomenological analysis of subjective reality, which includes the problem of self, becomes important. It shows that any consciously experienced phenomenon (i.e., the phenomenon of subjective reality — sensation, perception, volitional motivation, thought, etc.) is connected with its self, it is two-dimensional, presents a display of some object and itself.

Our study involved younger school pupils of Kurgan and educational institutions of the Kurgan region, for which the formation of civic identity was carried out at the primary school level and students of Kurgan State University, for whom, during the schooling process, the task of forming civic identity was not performed.


Modern researchers distinguish the following vectors of change in the process of self-identification: from stability to instability, diffusion, uncertainty; from uniformity to diversity; from globality to articulation, detalization; from the need for self-respect to the need in a sense; from estimated polarity to antinomic unity. These changes reflect deep changes in society and individual consciousness (Mitroshenkov, 2011).

Modern youth is forced to rely on their own experience, the experience of their peers, as well as on the opinion and lifestyle of various reference groups. This is due to the complexity of self-determination and the formation of civic identity. Society determines differentiating and integrating factors in the youth environment. The growing social differentiation of young people, paradoxically, is combined with the similarity of value orientations of different (according to socio-demographic and socio-cultural characteristics) groups of young people in their consciousness and behavior. Most often, values relate to individual well-being and interpersonal relationships. Stratification by socio-economic indicators is a process of social differentiation. These features make it difficult to build a single civic identity (Shikova, 2009).

If the identity of a younger school pupil personality is understood as a comprehensive educational result specifying the requirements of the Federal Educational Standard of elementary general education for the unity of subject, meta-subject, personal educational results (including mastering social science content) reflecting the reflexive-creative origin of the knowledge of a student at the early school age, the patterns of formation of self-consciousness, the identity of the personality in ontogenesis, so it is possible to determine the identification structure of the personality of younger school pupil, presented in Figure 01 .

Figure 1: The identification structure of the personality of younger school pupil
The identification structure of the personality of younger school pupil
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As an integrated personal result of training, education and socialization of younger school pupil, civic identity is the awareness of students of their belonging to Russia, a small homeland on general cultural grounds, which has a certain personal meaning manifested in behavior and activity for him.

Based on the characteristics of the basic structure, the following components of civic identity are highlighted:

- cognitive (knowledge of belonging to the Russian civil community);

- value-semantic (positive, negative or indifferent attitude to belonging);

- emotional (acceptance or rejection of their affiliation);

- activity (the initial experience of the implementation of civic position in communication and activities, civil activity according to age, participation in socially significant activities).

On the basis of the designated structural components, the criteria for the formation of civic, emotional, value-sense and activity-related personality identity of the civic identity were identified.

The results of the formation of the value component show that the majority of children (about 70%) reached an average, i.e. sufficient level; another 12% reached advanced level;

 - a similar trend in the results of the formation of cognitive component;

- the normative activity component is formed at an average of 53% and an advanced level in 33% of students.

In general, it can be concluded that the majority of school pupils (86%) have achieved a comprehensive educational outcome at the intermediate and advanced levels.

The obtained quantitative data allow drawing conclusions about the presence of a positive trend in the influence of the developed methodological system on the educational results of students. In secondary school of Kamenskoye and secondary school No. 3 of Shumikha, where the content appropriate for the formation of civic identity was systematically introduced into pedagogical, extra-curricular and educational activities, the level of educational results of students in the 4th grade was much higher than in control classes of secondary school No. 4 in Shumikha.

Subject and meta-subject results of students (cognitive-semantic component of identity) in secondary school № 3 of Shumikha are slightly higher than in secondary school of Kamenskoe. It may be reasoned by the higher competence of teachers in urban school and the general readiness of urban school pupils to study. However, in terms of the value-semantic component, the results of students from rural remote places are significantly higher than those of urban school pupils. The authors assume that the success of the pupils of the school of Kamenskoe is reasoned by the effective work and the family club as a form of realization of circles of moral, environmental, civil orientation with the participation of parents.

The results of the study emphasize: 1) the role of the world relations of a subject and their basic characteristics in the formation of the identity of a subject; 2) the continuity in the formation of the identity of a subject of education; 3) the unity of the internal efforts of students as a subject and pedagogical support in the formation of identity as a complex educational result.

In the works of Shikova (2009) civic identity of young people in terms of content represents the readiness of an individual to take an active part in the life of the state. Analyzing civil identity, the author notes that it is the ratio of objective and subjective components of civil identity that determines the degree of its integrity and functionality to ensure social reproduction through the implementation of relevant social practices.

The most important aspect of the manifestation of civic identity is ideas about the Homeland, the place where a person lives, feelings towards it through emotional attachment. Civil identity is determined by love for the Motherland, Mother Nature, and small Motherland.

Civil identity, according to the results of our research, is also manifested in the activities addressed to the Motherland, the desire to participate in it. The attitude and participation in such activities can be determined by the reaction of young people to the following statements: “Protecting the Motherland is an honorable duty”, “Creating protected areas is an urgent need”, “Participating in charity events is relevant and noble” and “Preserving unique natural sites is a matter of each” etc.

The need and the possibility of the formation of civic identity are indicated by the reaction of young respondents to the statements: “We need to cultivate pride in our country”, “We bring up a sense of pride in the heroes of the Motherland”, “It is necessary to educate a sense of patriotism”, etc.

The following answers were received to the questions “What do you consider your homeland?”: the place where I was born (65%), the state in which I live (30%), the place where it is comfortable (5%). As shown in the survey results, for the majority of respondents, the ideas about the country are associated primarily with the place where the person was born and grew up. Citizenship is associated with the state, citizenship with the Motherland, the Fatherland, history and the past.

Also, the basic identifying mechanism of civic identity is patriotism, as a sense of pride in one’s country. To the question: “Can you say why you are proud of your country?” The answers of the respondents were as follows: I was born here (41%); my ancestors lived here (38%); it is a strong state (21%).

Thus, civil identity, from the point of view of the authors, can be viewed as a process of identifying oneself with the “citizens of one’s region” within the Russian Federation (regional aspect) (Figure 02 ).

Figure 2: The dynamics of civic identity at different levels of its manifestation. Note: 1 – local, 2 – regional, 3 – global level
The dynamics of civic identity at different levels of its manifestation. Note: 1 – local, 2 – regional, 3 – global level
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The study allows concluding that 75% of students have a pronounced citizenship, this conclusion is based on the choice of such statements as: love for the motherland is the most important quality; love for forest and field is the quality of Russian. The majority of respondents believe that it is necessary to cultivate a sense of pride in a small homeland, for the heroes of a small homeland; the defense of the homeland is an honorable duty (a local aspect).

The patriotic attitude of the respondents is manifested in their activities, so 80% are ready to create specially protected areas, participate in charity events, and develop measures to reduce deforestation, participate in tree planting, and participate in the solution of environmental problems.

78% of students are convinced of the necessity and possibility of the formation of civil identity, they believe that they bring up a sense of pride for the heroes of the Motherland, pride in the athletes of the Motherland; they feel the support of their teachers.

In terms of civic identity, the global aspect dominates among half of the respondents. Students are concerned about global environmental issues, but they associate their manifestation with the regional and local level, as they reflect on the impact of global environmental problems not only on planet Earth, but also on their native place. The manifestation of regional motivation in identity can be judged by the choice of such statements as: friendly relations can be built between all people of the country, in a multi-ethnic state you can live together. A comparative analysis of the dynamics of the formation of different identities showed the following results (Figure 03 ).

Figure 3: The dynamics of the formation of identities. Note: 1, 4- humanitarian, 2,5 – civil, 3,6 – utilitarian identitites
The dynamics of the formation of identities. Note: 1, 4- humanitarian, 2,5 – civil, 3,6 – utilitarian identitites
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It was revealed that in the process of complex educational activities, changes in the micro- and macro-identities of students were observed. Micro-identities, which, in the opinion of many scientists, are much easier to manage and form are utilitarian (necessary), and macro-identities include slow-forming humanistic and civic identity.

In the process of monitoring the development of students, it was revealed that, although students are slowly introduced to moral values and respect for the righPts of others, an increase in self-esteem of their own usefulness in society is observed. Utilitarian (necessary) identities, as confirmed by the research, form more efficiently through the activities of students rather than civil and humanistic ones. For their effective formation, it is sometimes enough to educate the population, but for the last two, the task is more complicated.


The changing social reality has led to the transformations not only in the system of social self-identification of an individual, but also to the transformations in the very processes of identification.

The social situation of modern youth is marked by pronounced marginality, which causes the emergence and development of the characteristic socio-psychological difficulties. However, the presence of freedom in choosing a line of conduct, the path of personal development allows young people to have adequate ways for self-determination, self-affirmation and self-realization in order to acquire a constructive identity for young people.

Among the possible vectors of change in the process of self-identification in the modern world, the researchers distinguish the following: from stability to instability, diffusion, uncertainty; from uniformity to diversity; from globality to articulation, detalization; from the need for self-respect to the need in a sense. These changes reflect deep changes in society and individual consciousness.

Society aspires to form such a mechanism of youth socialization, which would transform the new generation into an organic part and similarity of an already existing society.

The concept of civic identity is equivalent to the concept of “state (national) identity” in those cases when it is viewed as organized on a state-political basis. If the development of such a civil community does not become the goal of a consciously pursued policy, the state risks turning into a zone of permanent conflict of identities. The threat of extremism and terrorism requires maximum efforts to promote the development of civic identity. Therefore, the task of its formation among younger generation is a priority for the current stage of the development of Russian society.


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29 March 2019

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Nesgovorova, N., Tebenkova, E., Saveliev, V., Bogdanova, E., & Kupriyanova, T. (2019). Formation Of Civil Identity Of Russian Youth As Relevant Task Of Education. In D. K. Bataev (Ed.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 58. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1406-1414). Future Academy.