The Role Of Education In The Processes Of Social Identification And Self-Identification


The article is devoted to the urgent problem of identification processes in the social and cultural environment. In modern society, an identity crisis is observed, while existing forms of self-identification often form the basis for increasing social conflict. Group stereotyping, which is an example of false identification, is gaining serious scope. All this testifies to the fact that the mechanisms of determining social identification are incorrectly operating in society. Under these conditions, the study of the problems of forming adequate identification strategies in the public environment is gaining relevance. Given the fact that the identification process is carried out within the framework determined by the characteristics of the social worldview, the identification method is directly dependent on it. For this reason, one of the promising directions for studying the specifics of identification processes is turning to the topic of social worldview. The article presents the main aspects of educational activity that affect the processes of social identification and self-identification. The change in the influence of education on the worldview associated with the development of information communication is considered. The question of the main opportunities for influencing the mechanisms of social identification by the education sector is posed. The current problems of the educational environment are evaluated. The most promising aspects of educational activity are noted that contribute to the formation of a developed worldview in the social environment. The importance of developing, within the educational sphere, the skills of reflective understanding of social reality is considered.

Keywords: CultureEducationidentificationidentification strategiesself-identificationsociety


In the modern world, the issue of identity is one of the most relevant, since the nature of the self-identification of a social subject depends on the strategy of its activity, the chosen goals, and the method of perception of individual social phenomena and, finally, the nature of the correlation of personal and public interests. Depending on how a person identifies himself, he determines development priorities and a model of behaviour.

The problem of identification affects not only the individual aspect of the development of members of society. The way of building intergroup relations, the level of efforts made by members of the society within the framework of inclusion in specific public institutions, and the group solidarity of members of society depend on the nature of the identification of participants in public relations. It should be noted separately that intergroup conflicts, not uncommon at present, are also closely associated with mechanisms of social identification. Most often, they arise when group identification prevails over social identification, as a result of which, in the minds of members of society, the latter is divided into opposing groups (Hoffmann, 2013). Such trends have destructive potential.

Under these conditions, the issue of implementing mechanisms of social identification and self-identification is becoming relevant. Three specific formats of identification activity are distinguished - the formation of new identification strategies in mind, the implementation of existing identification strategies and the transformation of identification strategies.

Social and cultural identity is one aspect of worldview. The mechanisms of formation of the worldview directly affect the nature of the course of identification processes. We intend to emphasize the role of the education system as one of the most important mechanisms for shaping the worldview. At the same time, the importance of education is considered both in relations to the formation of social identity and concerning cultural identification. The principles of identification are reflected in the culture; therefore, acquaintance with various aspects of the cultural heritage determines the tendency to implement various forms of identification and self-identification. The role of the sphere of education is of considerable interest both from reflecting modern practice and from the issue of educational opportunities for the formation and maintenance of sociocultural identification mechanisms that are constructive for society.

Problem Statement

Identification is a cognitive action and an action aimed at placing a specific phenomenon in the subject's presentation system (with the appropriate distribution of the identification object using a conditional relation). Moreover, often we are talking about the social construction of an intricate image on a single basis, which carries a severe information load (Berger & Luckman, 1995). Identification, in this case, represents the placement of the phenomenon in question in the philosophical coordinate system of the subject. In this regard, both the identification process and the self-identification process are subject to general principles that determine the inclusion of a particular phenomenon in the structure of the worldview. This principle is described in sufficient detail in the framework of Kuhn's paradigm theory, which considers the mechanisms of interaction between general theoretical attitudes and individual experience (Kuhn, 1975). The latter allows relying on the methodological developments of the philosophy of science. We mean those aspects that relate to the worldview dynamics and the ratio of its various components.

Understanding of identification as a process that initially depends on the existing worldview system determines the significance of the mechanisms of formation of the worldview. At the same time, the process of bringing a fact under a general rule is also not self-evident, which at one time was brilliantly proved by Lakatos (1967). Thus, the mechanisms of worldview formation ultimately determine the nature and methods of identification practices. In this regard, education acts as one of the most important mechanisms for the formation of a worldview, determined the feasibility of studying the educational process as a factor in social and cultural identification. The problem is of absolute interest. Intergroup conflicts indicate the presence of crisis prerequisites at the level of the worldview of members of society, which determine a deliberately negative attitude towards some of the participants in the social process.

This study is based on considering the role of education as a factor in the formation of a social worldview and cultural outlook, as well as to correlate education with other sources of knowledge about society and culture within the framework of modern practice. The singularly important question of the structure and dynamics of the worldview is the functional certainty of education, nature of the course of identification processes.

Research Questions

Thematically, this work is at the junction of cultural, socio-philosophical, sociological and pedagogical knowledge. At the same time, some aspects of the issues studied are reflected at the level of the theory of knowledge and philosophy of science. Such a complex nature of the problem posed is mainly associated with the fact that the identification process is of a worldview nature. However, its premises and consequences already apply to the cultural and social spheres. Separately, attention should be paid to the fact that understanding the specifics of the institution of education involves turning not only to the field of pedagogy but also to the basics of sociological knowledge, revealing the functional aspect of the central public institutions.

The complexity of the problem determines the presence of a wide range of issues that had to be encountered in the research process. Among them, the following stand out particularly:

  • Structure and dynamics of worldview;

  • The formation and change of identification strategies;

  • The inconsistency of the individual worldview;

  • Elements of culture that define the paradigm of identification activity;

  • The role of education as a factor in the formation of an individual picture of the world;

  • Education, as a source of skills of reflexive activity;

  • Place of formation in the system of other sources of worldview.

Understanding the structural and dynamic aspects of the worldview is vital for the present study because it is in the coordinate system of the worldview that the identification process is implemented. As for the formation and change of identification strategies, this problem is one of the keys in this work. Understanding the structure (and including complexity and inconsistency) of the worldview is an essential step towards understanding the mechanisms to overcome prejudice. Also, an understanding of the complexity of the worldview allows comprehending the phenomenon of a conflict of ideas that occurs when actualizing conflicting ideas and their relationships.

The cultural aspect of the problem of social identification is of significant importance because, in the cultural sphere, there are developed models of the positioning of individual social phenomena (as well as self-positioning). At the same time, such moments as the nature of the assessment of the phenomenon, the value prerequisites for its consideration are also actively represented in the cultural environment. The most famous cultural attitudes that determine the nature of the identification process are collectivism and individualism, at the level of which the inner certainty of relations between society and the subject is set. At the same time, the range of cultural forms that determine the nature of identification and self-identification is much more extensive than the above two worldview traditions, which must be taken into account in the research process.

As for issues such as the role and place of education in the formation of models of sociocultural identification, we note that in this case, we intend to highlight the complexity of functional components of the educational process that determine its ability to influence the sphere of social outlook. This process takes into account both the knowledge given in the process of educational activity and the educational component of educational activity. Special attention, in this case, deserves the assessment of skills that are formed at the level of the educational sphere and contribute to the reflective understanding of both one's worldview and the phenomena that a person encounters in the process of his social life. Moreover, taking into account the fact that education is currently essential, but not the only source of social cognition, it is advisable to consider its place in the general system of sources of worldview.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to deepen understanding of the importance of education as a factor in the implementation of social and cultural identification. This purpose includes, on the one hand, an in-depth understanding of the problems of identification and self-identification, on the other hand, their correlation with the functional aspect of the educational sphere.

Research Methods

A known measure of complexity characterizes the subject of study. These aspects relate to various scientific disciplines, which determines the poly-subjectivity and the interdisciplinary nature of this work. Features of the subject of study have a direct impact on the methodological base used in its study. At the same time, we take into account the classical philosophical and scientific principle of the need for correspondence between the subject area of ​​research and the applied methodology. In the framework of the work, general scientific methods of analysis, synthesis, abstraction and comparison are involved. Also, constructivist, phenomenological, and paradigmatic approaches are used for examining the worldview and its dynamics. Given that modern society, as well as culture, is subject to severe transformational dynamics (which largely determines the characteristics of the current situation), a historical approach is used in some aspects of the work. Also, taking into account the need to understand the functional aspect of the educational sphere, the developments of the structural-functional approach are applied.


In analyzing the question of how education affects the processes of identification and self-identification, a logical step is to pose the question of what identification itself is (and such a particular manifestation of it as self-identification). This term comes from the Latin "identitas," which means "identity" in translation. Thus, the identification of something is the recognition of what is already known. Identity, in this case, can be interpreted in various ways – from recognizing the identity of the object to itself, to considering the extreme degree of similarity according to specific criteria. This definition is a rather narrow definition of identity, which is far enough from the meaning that is embedded in such phrases as "national identity" or "cultural identity." In a broader sense, identity is already interpreted as similarity or similarity, coincidence in a certain quality. In this case, identification can act as a way to identify objects belonging to the same class, the establishment of similarity of which is the essence of this operation. This interpretation of the term is much closer to the currently widely used method of its use. At the same time, attention should be focused on one crucial point: identification as recognition is the process of expressing the unknown through the known, and, importantly, it is also the expression of the whole through its known and definite part. So, for example, an identification is made of the person by the face or retina of the eye – through a characteristic sign, a judgment is formed about the existence of a whole range of other signs that are not clearly demonstrated.

Taken in this perspective, identification as recognition always implies a moment of fundamental knowledge. It is impossible to identify something completely unfamiliar – in order for this to be precisely the process of identification. It is necessary to possess the fundamental knowledge of similar objects. Obviously, the broader the horizons and, accordingly, the more developed and substantial the worldview is, the more objects it can identify.

The key point, in this case, is that identification, as part recognition of the whole, directly depends on the fundamental knowledge, and therefore the worldview of the subject of identification activity is its most crucial prerequisite. It is also crucial that identification, in this case, acts as an operation, the accuracy of which directly depends on the adequacy of the initial worldview and the method of cognition that is used. In other words, a completely possible option is an error in the identification process. Moreover, as long as identification contains an element of interpretation, the same object can be identified in various ways, depending on what kind of worldview, in this case, takes place.

So, we have come to understand how important the study of the worldview aspect of identification and self-identification activity is. It should be emphasized separately that the identification process itself is a particular form of cognitive activity, which is also directly related to the worldview: in its constituent part, knowledge comes from already accumulated knowledge and ideas; in turn, the process of cognition complements the existing worldview. This circumstance implies the understanding that the study of the dynamic aspect of the worldview is of great importance for the present work.

First of all, we note that the worldview is not just a totality of ideas about the world around us - this is the basis for orienting a person in it. Moreover, therefore, there are understandable functional requirements concerning the worldview, one of which is that it should not be too complicated. Therefore, individual phenomena are combined into groups and do not remain countless private phenomena. At the same time, similar qualities are attributed to the phenomena grouped. Streamlining and systematization of the worldview is the foundation that determines the possibility of forming expectations concerning the world around us.

The presence at the world level of general principles, laws, general concepts and the corresponding classes of phenomena – all this helps to orient a person in the world. Furthermore, at the same time, it determines the need to identify objects and phenomena that fall under the already known general rule.

Identification is the placement of an object in a worldview system and its expression through a concrete quality that has undergone actualization. An important point follows from this: the dynamics of the worldview determines a change in the set of concepts (as well as their content) and ideas about the world. At the same time, some ideas can be confirmed, others can be refuted, and others can be supplemented and transformed in the process of gaining experience.

A feature of culture is that as it develops, there is a gradual change in the ratio of independent and indirect knowledge. Analyzing modern society, Schutz (2003) notes that we acquire most of the knowledge indirectly through other people. This circumstance is because perceiving individual ideas from different sources; a person includes them in his worldview, not correlating them with each other. This basis gives rise to the potential inconsistency of the worldview of most people, which Holton (1992) at one time drew attention to. Identification processes allow seeing a person in the formation of different relationships to the same object of consideration, and the spread of options may depend on situational factors (for example, the mood or the first sign of the object in question that catches your eye).

Moreover, the more controversial the worldview is, the more varied the identification process is realized in individual cases. Here, one should separately focus on the fact that there is currently an extremely intensive in nature dialogue process of cultures, one of the consequences of which is the eclecticism and contradictory worldview of members of society (Danilova et al., 2019). Under such conditions, the above trend is subject to significant intensification.

The processes of identification and self-identification in this regard allow talking about mechanisms for the formation of ideas about people, which involves the implementation of cognitive, evaluative and motivational aspects of the worldview. For example, considering a representative of a certain profession, a person, on the one hand, correlates it with a profession (which involves attracting his knowledge about this area of ​​professional activity), and on the other hand, forms an evaluative attitude towards him (based on professional certainty, compliance with official duties), and also, in some cases, "tries on himself" his role.

It should be noted that identification could be carried out according to many criteria, while it is rarely exhaustive. The same person can be the bearer of many social characteristics and roles, and the results of the identification process largely depend on which criterion is used for considering it. This allows concluding that the identification process (as well as self-identification) is determined by the initial worldview system and the selection of a distinguished feature by which the identification is made. Separately, we note that the indicated principle is also characteristic of self-identification, while it is characteristic that the choice of the method of self-determination is constitutive: in fact, we are talking about a model of activity that a person seeks to implement. Therefore, identification strategies are, among other things, a powerful regulator of social relations.

The role of education is in the formation of identification and self-identification mechanisms. Education is one of the primary sources of knowledge about the world around us, and the breadth of students' outlook, the fullness of their worldview, and the ability to independently adequately reflect on the surrounding sociocultural reality directly depend on the effectiveness of the educational activity. At the same time, the priority, in this case, is the sphere of humanitarian knowledge, since it is it that contributes to the development of a social worldview, instilling values, and forms an understanding of individual aspects of human relations. Education must interact with other areas of culture that are relevant to students. In particular, during the educational process myths can be dispelled, and stereotypes can be overcome that determine the incorrect implementation of the processes of identification and self-identification. An important component of modern education is career guidance, which determines the prospects for the professional development of students.

Modern education has the potential to influence the nature of identification processes. Moreover, several directions are deployed here at once:

- broadening the horizons and the formation of a set of adequate ideas about social life and the sphere of culture;

  • overcoming social stereotypes;

  • Education of constructive values;

  • Inculcation of positive identification models (for example, civic identity);

  • The development of reflective abilities aimed at eliminating the errors of social cognition, as well as overcoming the contradictions of worldview.

However, in current conditions, there are many difficulties with the implementation of these functions. This process is due to the gradual displacement of education as a source of knowledge about the world by the field of information processes, the deactivation in the consciousness of students of humanitarian subjects, the lack of training courses foсused on the formation of abilities and skills of independent social knowledge. In this case, the social risks and problems that accompany the high level of technological development and, in particular, the sphere of information communication are clearly manifested. Even though information technology helps to increase human capabilities, they also determine the aggravation of many sociocultural problems (Nikitin & Luginina, 2019), one of which is a decrease in the authority (and, in general, the influence) of the education system. In our opinion, this is a situation where the same sphere determines both the prospects and problems of educational activities, since in modern conditions it is possible, among other things, to bring educational activities to the level of network interaction, which in some countries takes on the character of common practice (Danilova & Plotnikov, 2019). The development of the information sphere sets enormous prospects for the organization of the educational process, which includes not only the possibility of distance learning highlighted above but also the formation of the largest network libraries, multimedia teaching materials, records of unique lectures (Nazarova, 2015). However, the vast majority of appeals to the field of information communication are mainly related to the implementation of entertainment and news content, often of a low-quality and destructive content. Consideration of the overall impact of Internet communication on the worldview of members of society allows judging that at present, the current state of the information sphere is more of a crisis, destabilizing nature. This process poses severe difficulties in optimizing the nature of identification processes with the help of the education sector; however, it does not reduce its prospects.


In modern society, the problem of the correct identification of others and self-identification is exceptionally relevant. Identification processes are determined by the worldview and the choice of a determining attribute by which the identification process is realized. Evaluation criteria, as well as identification models, are present in the culture and are actively disseminated, both naturally and through various public institutions. The education system has a high potential for solving the problem of social identification, which is associated with the influence of the education system on the worldview of members of society. However, the statement of this task involves increasing attention to the humanitarian sphere, working to develop skills among students to comprehend social reality, as well as work to increase the competitiveness of educational materials to information products freely broadcast in a communicative environment that also affect the outlook of members of society.


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27 February 2021

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National interest, national identity, national security, public organizations, linguocultural identity, linguistic worldview

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Danilova, M. I., & Plotnikov, N. V. (2021). The Role Of Education In The Processes Of Social Identification And Self-Identification. In I. Savchenko (Ed.), National Interest, National Identity and National Security, vol 102. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 187-194). European Publisher.