Culture And National Identity In The Context Of Globalization


The article investigates how globalization changes affect modern culture and the formation of national identity. For Russia, the severity of the problem of national identity is determined by its traditional poly-ethnic population. A complex of methodological and theoretical approaches of philosophy, political science, sociology and global studies is used. The starting point for the analysis of values as the basis for the formation and preservation of national identity in the modern globalized space is the existing tradition in the philosophy of understanding culture from an axiological point of view. We consider new trends in the development of culture. In the context of globalization, the values of one culture are mixed with the values of another. An obvious characteristic of “global culture” is openness, which assumes an assimilative form. One of the significant dangers of globalization is value unification. Globalization processes contribute to the deformation of the value bases of society. The current identity crisis is accompanied by a transformation of identification factors. Since national identification is a subjective-objective process and is determined by the individual’s self-search, inner feelings about his ethnic, linguistic, cultural and other affiliation, the influence of many external factors, traditional values play a significant role in the formation of national identity. Traditional values allow Russian society to form an adequate strategy to respond to the negative challenges of globalization, to be involved in world integration processes. Currently, a model of national identity is being formed in Russia, called by the authors as a civilizational model.

Keywords: Globalizationcultureidentityspiritualityvalues


The relevance of the study is due to the fact that at present globalization processes have embraced all spheres of human life, having, one way or another, directly or indirectly affecting the economy, politics and world culture.

The sphere of culture is most sensitive to such manifestations, because from the very beginning it is the most diverse and spiritually free – each subject of culture creates its own spiritual world. Each of the cultures, as well as each person, is unique, creating its own unique system of values, which distinguishes its carrier from the subject of other cultures, determines its peculiarity and originality, as well as resistance to sociocultural changes.

Among the main challenges associated with the globalization processes in culture, most often referred to the trend towards unification, leveling the national-specific features of the way of life of peoples. In parallel, there is a tendency in the world to search for the traditional value base, its preservation and retransmission by the younger generation through various social institutions. This is what many now see as a way to overcome the negative effects of globalization. Therefore, the issues of traditional values, preservation of national culture and national identity in the modern globalized space are more acute than ever before.

Problem Statement

In the context of globalization, the problems of culture, national identity, and tradition continue to be quite relevant. The process of globalization, transforming the culture of humanity as a whole, is also changing national cultures. At the same time, the direction of these changes are often identical, and sometimes vice versa - contrary to the general direction of globalization, encourages the search for answers to questions about what exactly happens to culture in general and to the culture of a separate ethnos in particular, as well as which should be answered challenges.

The “eternal” problem of national identity is especially actualized in crisis periods of history, when significant life circumstances and phenomena transform the means and methods of social self-determination and people's life choices. In the twenty-first century Russian society came with the "spiritual flaws," accumulated over a long, deep mass of skepticism, of unbelief, of spiritual disillusion, which has acquired the character of the epochal crisis of classical values, value orientations of the personality, uncertainty values and the instability of identity of social actors.

For Russia, the severity of the problem of national identity is determined by its traditional poly-ethnic population. Despite the fact that according to statistics, representatives of more than 130 nationalities and ethnic groups live in Russia and each of these representatives considers a particular region of our country to be their homeland, it is obvious that Russian society is multicultural with a complex structure of identifications that do not always have common national principles.

The factor that emphasizes the importance of identifying the value bases of national identity is the gap characterized, on the one hand, by the important role played by values ​​in the sustainability of human development, on the other, by the real threats of globalization.

Research Questions

To define globalization, the conceptual apparatus of many branches of knowledge about society is used. The concept of "globalization" philosophers, sociologists, historians and economists interpret depending on the ideological approach and scientific school. German scientists Osterhammel and Petersson (2003) in their study of the phenomenon of globalization demonstrate the methodological difficulties of accurately defining globalization.

One of the first is considered the definition of globalization given by Levitt (1983), who considered globalization in an economic context. The spread of the concept of globalization occurred thanks to Robertson (1992), who interpreted globalization as a process of strengthening contacts between different parts of the world. He sees globalization as a threat to the diversity of identities. It was Robertson (1992) who introduced the term “glocalization”, created by combining the words “globalization” and “localization”.

A sociocultural study of globalization processes was conducted by McLuhan (1994). Modern Russian scientists often note the vulnerability of the concept of McLuhan (1994) due to the presence of technological determinism and technological romanticism (Huseynov, Smirnov, & Nikolaichev, 2010).

Considering national identity, the authors of the article rely on the opinion of famous theorists. National identity is, first of all, the idea of oneself, as of a national community, of a nation. The main features of national identity were formulated by Smith (1995). National identity is a collection of trends and values (Parekh, 1995). National identity is not an innate personality trait; it arises from an acquired awareness of the commonality of culture, history, and language (Rembold & Carrier, 2011).

The problematization of the issue of identity is the result of the weakening of social institutions and the absence of a new type of institutions in the information society. It is precisely this point of view that Castells (2010), who axiomatizes the assertion that the increase in the distance between identity and globalization, between the network and the “I”, is associated with a crisis state of the identity model, has been adopted.

The starting point for the analysis of values as the basis for the formation and preservation of national identity in the modern globalized space is the existing tradition in the philosophy of understanding culture from an axiological point of view.

The transformation of world civilization into a single structural and functional system sets a new pace and new quality for the development of various aspects of human society and requires intellectual understanding of this process.

Purpose of the Study

The hypothesis of the study: in the modern globalized space, the emergence of a civilizational model of national identity is observed, based on a certain system of traditional values corresponding to the national history and serving as the basis for the consolidation of society.

Objective of the research: analysis of the influence of globalization processes on culture and national identity.

Research Methods

Given the general debatable problems of globalization, the most controversial and complex are its manifestations precisely in the socio-cultural sphere. The complexity of the analysis is due to its obvious interdisciplinary nature. Therefore, the study uses a number of approaches, namely: cultural, axiological, philosophical.

For the disclosure of the stated topic, the axiological approach has an undeniable value. A distinctive feature of the axiological approach is not only the value discourse of cultural interpretation, but also the analysis of which values become the basis of national identity in modern Russian society.

The study also used formal-logical methods of abstraction, formalization, system-structural analysis and synthesis, induction and deduction, as well as the categories and laws of dialectical logic.


Globalization processes have led to new trends in the development of culture, which will determine its functioning in the twenty-first century. Culture is not a static, tightly locked system, but a stream of values that constantly dissolve old ones and enter into new connections. In the context of globalization, the values of one culture are mixed with the values of another, a new cultural code is being created. The boundaries of such a system are loose, blurred, there are many contradictions in it. These are the features that the global culture takes on.

An obvious characteristic of the “global culture” is openness, acquiring an assimilative form and cultural expansion. Theoretically, cultural expansion is the expansion of the sphere of influence of the dominant (national) culture beyond the original limits or state borders, in contrast to modernization, when the recipient country is purposefully trying to adapt other people's samples. In modern conditions, the vast majority of “cultural exports” are carried out at the level of material culture.

Integrating the external cultural space, the processes of globalization strengthen internal differentiation, lead to fundamental transformations in the mode of relations between the elite, popular and mass culture. This reduces the status of the culture as a whole, which turns into a means of achieving a globally standardized life well-being. It should be emphasized that the “crisis of identity” is felt by all countries of the world, but it is most acute in the countries of the former socialist system, where for a historically long time consciously violated the basic structures of national identity, where the media convincingly imposed ideas about the underdevelopment of a different nation, about the need to proceed not from real national, but from illusory universal human values.

Of course, the civilizational, spiritual, cultural diversity of mankind is an undoubted value and a certain guarantee of security, developed over thousands of years of its existence, and therefore it should be preserved. Therefore, one of the major dangers of globalization is value unification, which, on the one hand, seems to facilitate communication and management of a global unified system, but, on the other hand, depriving humanity of its components and diversity, makes the whole system very vulnerable to various threats.

Globalization processes have become a powerful factor contributing to the strengthening of social inequality. Although a similar effect of globalization occurs in many countries of the world, but in Russia it manifested itself in a very short historical period. All this affects the most negative way and distorts the value foundations of society, which determine the preservation of fundamental values and traditions (Natsis, 2016). Among them there are the aggravation of old and the emergence of new conflict situations in the world: mutual distrust between peoples and ethnic groups and nationalities and the threat of tribalism (today it manifests itself in many regions of the world), unresolved national and ethnic contradictions, the deployment of aggressive forms to protect national interests, religious xenophobia and intolerance, racial extremism, international terrorism, civilizational contradictions, etc.

Socio-cultural changes act as a factor influencing the formation of national identity (Taijun & Hu, 2015). In the context of globalization, the problem of preserving cultural identity in the process of collision of traditional and new values is sharply exacerbated, when, on the one hand, nation states rely on cultural universals, on the other, extremist manifestations (religious fundamentalism, chauvinism, terrorism) are stimulated.

National identity, which feeds on the internal “juices” of culture and is constructed using political and ideological mechanisms, forms a certain “cultural bond” of the collective community. It is the values of culture that form its complex core, it is a powerful integrating spiritual resource supporting identity, despite the depth of the transformations taking place (Gellel, 2018).

National identity is interpreted as the final act of the process of awareness by an individual or a social group of their belonging to a particular national education, as a result of their acceptance of the values, norms, ideals that guide this nation, as a result of the individual’s mastery of the whole set of knowledge about a particular nation , about her fate and destiny, about a place among other nations (Sardar, 2005).

Tolz (1998) identified five objective grounds for determining Russian national identity (Russian nation): the inheritance of the Empire (residents of the USSR or Russian Empire), Eastern Slavism (Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians), the presence of the Russian language, ethnicity (those who believe that they are Russians) and citizenship of the Russian Federation.

The authors of the article believe that in Russian reality there are all these types of identity, which, complementarily connecting, represent a unique conglomerate based on traditional values. Our point of view is similar to the opinion of Edensor (2002), who uses the notion of a “matrix of national identity”, which includes many different characteristics.

In the conditions of expanding the possibilities of manipulating the mind on the basis of the destruction of the old ideological value systems and the artificial creation of new spiritual and political idols, the role of higher values as the spiritual basis of national identity increases significantly. It should be noted that in Russia traditional values and corresponding structures of behavior are reproduced in almost unchanged form over several generations or for a long time within the same society – in recent years, the growth of confidence in traditional values has only increased: from 72% in 2004 to 86 % in 2016 (Kotlyarova, Rudenko, & Ponomarev, 2017). The formation of the deep layers of identity is still significantly influenced by the traditional values of local cultures, their historical past and religious views (Rykova, 2018).

The authors believe that traditional values in the context of globalization become an obstacle to the impact of the unification and homogenization and the negative effects of globalization on individual national communities.

The globalization of the cultural sphere contributed not only to the spread of a universal language for communication, value orientations, pluralism of opinions. On this basis, important for modern societies and states are changes in the perception of their own being by the people themselves, when the norms, rules and traditions, according to which social institutions and everyday life have been upset for many generations, change dramatically. This opens up the possibility of not only understanding the characteristics of a local culture, but also evaluating its traditions, norms, customs and rituals. Not every folk custom, even if it is consecrated by a centuries-old tradition (for example, blood feud), axiologically agrees with the value vector of the global civilization process. Not every social norm (for example, in gender relations) is good only because it is used to be considered a distinctive feature of a certain cultural region. In this sense, globalization opens up another degree of freedom for a person - freedom from an uncritical attitude to the prevailing cultural stereotypes. And traditional values are filled with new content, ensuring the further development of society (Rоudenko, Kotlyarova, & Ponomarev, 2018).

At present, Russia forms a model of national identity, which we call the civilizational model, emanating, basically, from the unity of man and the society to which he belongs. This is a functional model that unites people not just in relation to a single law for them, stemming from a traditional culture common to them, but in relation to common traditional values: family, religious, ethical, aesthetic, and others. Traditional values determine the highest meanings of existence and direction social development, composing the "spiritual code" of the nation, perform the function of its spiritual unity and strengthening.

The system of traditional values and moral norms is one of the important conditions for ensuring political and social stability of society, which plays the role of the “immune system” of the social organism, protecting it from “infecting” with destructive and destructive ideas of violence, xenophobia, radical nationalism, separatism, moral permissiveness and other. Higher values form the core of the spiritual potential of society, the spiritual core of the personality, ensuring its spiritual and moral-volitional stability, to uphold national interests, protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian state (Kotlyarova et al., 2017).

Such a model significantly changes the idea of the goals of social development: it is not a purely economic, or political, or "cultural" or moral development, but a systemic development, based on the idea of society as a system created on the basis of spiritual unity of values.


Globalization is the principle that the organization and development of the world is viewed as an integral political, economic and socio-cultural super-system.

The current crisis of identity is accompanied by the transformation of identification factors, the strengthening of the axiological component. The search for a way out of the crisis of national identity is carried out in the form of applying the principles of constructing national identity based on traditional values.

Since national identification is a subjective-objective process and is determined not only by the individual’s self-search and inner feelings about his ethnic, linguistic, cultural and other affiliation, but also by the social environment, the influence of many external factors, traditional values play a significant role in the formation of national identity.

Traditional values allow Russian society to form an adequate strategy to respond to the negative challenges of globalization, to be involved in world integration processes and influence them in terms of their own national interests. At present, a model of national identity is being formed in Russia, which we call a civilizational model that unites people not simply in relation to common traditional values.

Traditional values in modern conditions acquire the importance of an important spiritual factor of social stability and the security of society, the spiritual basis for preserving culture, determine the moral, humanistic, political, scientific, technological and environmental priorities of the development of society.


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21 January 2020

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Kotlyarova*, V., & Bermus, A. (2020). Culture And National Identity In The Context Of Globalization. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1760-1766). Future Academy.