Correlation Between Situational And Ideological Factors In Social Activities Of Young People

Abstract

Studies of various types of social activity show that the relationship between social activity types and the correlation between situational and ideological factors are different. This fact reveals the urgent problem and our investigation is concentrated on it. Having considered that social activity, as a form of surrounding reality transformation, is one of the most valuable mechanisms of social transformation, we believe that the problem related to studying social activity factors is not only scientifically relevant, but practically significant as well. Due to this, our study is aimed at the investigation of the correlation between situational and ideological factors of various forms of young people’s social activity. The sample consisted of 193 people, mean age 17±1,8 years, 46,6 % - male. In the course of the study we used the following tools: a questionnaire for collecting socio-demographic data about the respondents; scale questionnaire for assessing the level of respondent’s participation in various forms of social activity; the author's unique method for situational factors’ scale assessment; Janoff-Bulmann Scale adapted by Kravtsova, called "Scale of basic beliefs”. In the course of the study we revealed and described the most significant correlations between situational and ideological factors for various forms of social activity. It has been established that various forms of social activity have specific sets of interrelations between situational and ideological factors.

Keywords: Social activityideological factorssituational factorssocio-political activityaltruistic activity; leisure activity

Introduction

One of the central problems of social psychology is the study of social transformations of the society as a whole and an individual within the society in particular. Having considered the scale of such a task, it makes sense to shift the study focus to various mechanisms underlying social transformations in the field of interaction between an individual and society. One of the major mechanisms of this type is personal social activity, which is viewed not only as an active process of environment transformation, but also as an opportunity to realize the inner potential of an individual and his/her self-improvement in accordance with the directions of social development through social transformations (Grigoryeva & Zagranichny, 2018).

Problem Statement

The value of social activity as a means of social transformations was described in the work by Cherepanova (2009). She views social activity as a crucial personal ability, which is aimed at changing the surrounding reality (Cherepanova, 2009). Viewing social activity from the perspective of personal approach, we understand that it is not only a way of social self-improvement. Based on the works by Sitarov & Maralov (2015) we learn that social activity is a personality system-forming factor, which is characterizing individuals from the position of their value for society and other people.

Personal social activity is studied from different points of view, which proves the fact that there is a great scientific interest related to this problem. Social activity determinants are described in the work by Sokolova (2011). Needs-related and motivational factors of social activity were studies in the work by Grigoryeva (2018). Shamionov (2018) investigates value and meaningful orientations of social activity.

At the same time, study of the factors connected with and influencing the process of social activity remains a significant research problem. Since we can consider social activity both from the point of view of social activity situation and from the position of personal approach, we consider it possible to divide social activity factors into two groups: situational and ideological. The foundation of ideological factors is formed by beliefs and value orientations of an individual, on the basis of which he/she shows social activity.

Research Questions

Situational factors are based on the emotional and evaluative attitude of an individual to situation’s external characteristics. More on this issue can be found in the article by Zagranichny (2018). In the process of the study, it is important for us to find out how situational and ideological factors for different types of social activity correlate. This is of scientific importance, since research shows that combination, interrelation and correlation of situational and ideological factors are different for various types of social activity. In practical terms, understanding of the relationship between these factors is significant for prosocial work and social activity design.

Taking into consideration various types of social activity that we are discussing; the present study has been built around the social group of “young people”. This can be explained by the fact that certain types of social activity are wide notions with a lot of content, i.e. Internet-network activity. Obviously, young people use the tools of this type of activity to a greater degree, than other social groups. Therefore, in order to increase the scale of study and the quantity of various forms of social activity, young people, as a social group, are of paramount interest. Moreover, the study of young people allows us not only to pinpoint the state of the problem under study today, but also to make certain predictions.

Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of the study is to single out the most significant interconnections between situational and ideological factors in various forms of young people’s social activity.

In the course of the study respondents were asked to evaluate the degree of participation in every form of social activity that had been singled out (altruistic, leisure, socio-political, Internet-network, civil, socio-economic, educational and developmental, spiritual, religious, protest, radical protest, subcultural). Next, they were asked to evaluate every form of social activity according to seven major situational factors based on subjective evaluation of external characteristics of social activity situation.

193 people took part in the study, mean age 17±1,8 years old, 46,6 % male. Social status: schoolchildren, students of higher educational institutions of pedagogical and technical profile, young specialists.

Research Methods

In order to obtain the most complete and reliable results, we used a variety of research methods.

The factors were singled out based on the analysis of scientific works by Grishina (2016). Here is what we attributed to these factors:

  • Certainty (Assessment of the level of specificity and accuracy of the situation content in comparison with subjective perceptions of the situation, ratio of the actual content of the situation and the existing subjective perceptions about it);

  • Formality (Assessment of external rules and regulations presence, conditions within the situation, their quantity and level of regulation rigidity, presence of a well-defined situation form);

  • Clarity for further behaviour (Assessment of possibilities for predicting behaviour within situation and its conformity with the assumption, assessment of the coincidence of behavioral models required within the situation with subjectively accessible and conscious behaviour models);

  • Stability (Assessment of sustainability, consistency and permanence of situation content, assessment of situation’s ability to develop with constant structure, shape, etc.);

  • Organization (Assessment of overall external organization level of the situation, level of organization chaos, presence of generalized interests and goals, situation structure, etc.);

  • Level of other people’s influence (Assessment of the level of surrounding social agents’ influence on subjective behavior and assessment within situation);

  • Positivity (Assessment of positivity and satisfaction with the situation, assessment of situation approval level).

The assessment process involves familiarizing the respondent with selected forms of social activity and evaluating each situational factor in each form of social activity, based on the most typical and general ideas regarding social activity situation of each type, according to a five-point criterion with the two margins, where 1 is the smallest manifestation of characteristics and 5 is the largest manifestation of characteristics. There is a possibility of 0 points, which means that the respondent has no experience in some of the forms of social activity.

We used the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient in the process of studying the consistency and reliability of methodology scales (see table 01 below).

Table 1 -
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The respondents were also asked to evaluate the degree of manifestation of such stable assumptions as faith in the benevolence of the world, faith in the kindness of people, faith in justice of the world, faith in controllability of the world, faith in chance (as the principle of events’ distribution), faith in the value of their own "self", degree of self-control and degree of luckiness. These beliefs were singled out on the basis of Janoff-Bulmann Scale adapted by Kravtsova (n.d.), called "Scale of basic beliefs”.

Findings

Speaking of the problem of correlation between ideological and situational factors of social activity, it is necessary to clarify that our study has not taken into consideration mentality and national peculiarities, due to the fact that the respondents come from the same country, although they identify themselves nationally in various ways. It is clear that social and political peculiarities of the state and the society can influence social activity manifestation. These peculiarities require additional investigation and larger-scale sample.

It is also clear that the ideological factors that have been singled out cannot reflect the reason for various types of social activity manifestations to the full extent. This can be observed using the example of socio-economic, spiritual and radical protest activity.

It is an important scientific problem to understand the dependence of social activity on various factors, not just the search and interpretation of interconnections.

We determined interconnections between situational and ideological factors in every form of social activity. Thus, we obtained a specific set of interconnections between situational and ideological factors for every form of social activity. This work is concentrated on the most significant interconnections from the point of view of correlation.

Analyzing the results we obtained the following data. We have not found out significant interconnections between situational and ideological factors in such social activity forms as socio-economic, spiritual, and radical-protest activity. The reason for the lack of connection in this case can be related to the fact that other ideological factors (not covered within the framework of the present study) are important for social activity types listed above, which can be related to the assessment of situational factors that are related to social activity situation.

Situational factor of “organization” and ideological factor of “faith in the benevolence of the world” (r=0,16; p<0,05) have the most significant connection in the altruistic and leisure activity. In other words, an individual, who is confident of his/her belief regarding fair organization of the world, as a social activity environment, evaluates social situation activity as a highly-organized one. It is possible that perception of the world, from the point of view of justice, is related to how exactly the situation is organized; where the organization level serves as a certain justice marker.

The most significant interconnection within socio-political activity is between situational factor of “stability” and ideological factor of “faith in justice of the world” (r=0,18; p<0,01). Thus, an individual that is confident in fair organization of the world, which he/she sees as a social activity environment, evaluates the situation of socio-political activity as a fairer one. One can suppose that if the situation of socio-political activity is stable, in other words, it is developing according to the pre-supposed scenario and does not have any dramatic and unexpected changes, an individual perceives this situation as a fair one. Similarly, individuals convinced in fair organization of the world, as a social environment where socio-political activity unfolds, tend to consider the situation of socio-political activity as a stable one, since all changes occurring within social activity situation that violate its stable development are viewed as fair changes that are characteristic of this situation. This can be described by the fact that an individual evaluates the social field, where the situation takes place, as an environment, which is organized in a fair way, consequently, all the events within such social field also have the most fair type of organization, and changes, which interfere with the situation stability, are seen as fair changes of the persistently developing situation. This is the factor that can increase evaluation of stability of the socio-political activity situation (Zagranichny, 2018). There is a significant interconnection between the ideological factor of “faith in the benevolence of the world” and the situational factor of “positivity” (r=0,19; p<0,01). It is obvious that the more an individual is aware that the world is benevolent towards him/her and his/her manifestations, i.e. the world does not simply perceive individual activity, but responds to it positively, the more an individual is likely to evaluate the situation of socio-political activity as a positive one.

Within Internet-network activity the most significant interconnection has been determined between the situational factor of “formality” and the ideological factor of “faith in the kindness of people” (r=0,17; p<0,05). Taking into account the specifics of this form of social activity, this can be explained by the fact that in the network environment, social activity is predominantly chaotic and informal. Consequently, if within the framework of this form of social activity, formal interaction is organized, then it is probably based on certain interests and topics and organized according to the principle of forming a social circle of like-minded people. In turn, this principle of organization selects the identities of socialization agents with similar interests, which contributes to an increase in the level of approval for activity manifestation. Perhaps this is what leads to an increase in positive assessment of socialization agents, with whom an individual interacts and reinforces personal assumption that people are kind.

In civil and religious activity the most significant interconnection can be observed between the situational factor of “positivity” and the ideological factor of “faith in benevolence of the world” (r=0,19; p<0,01). As we have already stated before, the stronger the person’s conviction that the world, as a field of social activity, is supportive of manifestations of activity, that is, positively responds and evaluates civil activity of a person, the more positively a person is likely to evaluate a civil activity situation.

In a similar way, for religious activity there is a significant interconnection between the situational factor of “positivity” and the ideological factor of “faith in the benevolence of the world” (r=0,2; p<0,01). This interconnection can be explained by the fact that the more an individual is confident that religious activity is organized in a fair way, the more he/she is likely to evaluate the situation as a positive one, or favourable for activity manifestation.

The most significant interconnection for educational and developmental activity is between the situational factor of “positivity” and the ideological factor of “faith in the kindness of people” (r=0,21; p<0,01). This can be also explained by the fact that the more a person is convinced that people, as agents of socialization, are kind to a person who is active, the more the situation of educational and developmental activity is perceived as a positive one. Since it is the people within the situation of social activity or related to it, they give the situation assessment and transmit their attitude to it. Ultimately, this forms the evaluation of situation’s positivity.

In terms of protest activity the most significant interconnection is set between the situational factor of “stability” and the ideological factor of “faith in controllability of the world” (r=0,19; p<0,01). Here, we can suppose that the more stable the situation of social stability manifestation from the point of view of individuality is, the more it can instill the conviction regarding controllability of the situation. In other words, if the situation develops according to assumptions that an individual has at the point of activity manifestation, i.e. it is developing steadily, an individual can view the manifestation of his/her own activity as a situational control tool and presuppose that the situation is stable, because it is under control.

In subcultural activity the most significant interconnection can be observed between the situational factor of “clarity for further behaviour” and the ideological factor of “degree of self-control” (r=0,14; p<0,05). Apparently, in this case, we can say that the higher an individual evaluates his/her ability to demonstrate self-control, the less likely is the chaotic influence of social agents within the situation of social activity, therefore, individual’s behaviour unfolds to a greater degree in accordance with fixed models. It becomes clear that the more behaviour correlates with the usual models, the more it is clear how to behave in a situation of social activity.

Conclusion

Thus, summing up the study results we can say that various types of social activity correspond with various sets of significant interconnections between situational and ideological factors.

These sets are not the same according to their volume and correlation strength. We managed to find out that there are no direct interconnections between situational and ideological factors in some types of activity, others have single connections, while some have numerous and very strong interconnections.

This fact proves that the continuation of the study is necessary and has to be related to correlation of various factors for various forms of activity. Within the framework of the present study we viewed the strongest interconnections from the point of view of correlation. We singled out 8 interconnections. The most significant situational factor, from the point of view of the number of interconnections, is “positivity”. Situational factor “positivity” is significantly interrelated with three various ideological factors (“faith in people’s kindness”, “faith in justice of the world”, “faith in benevolence of the world”). The most significant ideological factor, from the point of view of the number of interconnections, is “faith in the benevolence of the world”. Ideological factor “faith in justice of the world” is significantly related to three situational factors (“stability”, “positivity”, and “organization”). Therefore, we can speak not only about the most significant sets of interrelations for each specific type of social activity, but also to consider the significance of factors from the position of significant interrelations number, that corresponds with the purpose of the study.

Acknowledgments

The study was funded by the Russian Science Foundation grant (project №18-18-00298).

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

23.01.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.01.29

Online ISSN

2357-1330