The article discusses the value orientations of students, their professional attitudes and preferences. Various approaches to the definition of concepts of value orientations, a system of personal meanings from the perspective of psychology, sociology are examined, the content of the concept of “value-semantic orientations of a personality” is revealed. Meanings and values are the basic constructions in everyone’s life; they are reflected by emotions and through them open up the possibility of further development for a person. The value of higher education among young people at present remains stably high; the study analyzes the role of education in the process of forming a human value system. Young people seek education, with the aim of subsequent successful employment and gaining career opportunities. The socialization of a modern young man has its own specifics. By the system of value orientations, one can judge the nature of the development of social relations, the prospects for the development of society. The study of the value orientations of youth makes it possible to identify the degree of its adaptation to new social conditions and its innovative potential. Russian youth maintains a common core of values with older generations with professional self-determination, work experience and self-realization in work. The study carried out a comparative analysis of two age and social groups.
Keywords: Educationmeaning of lifeprofessional attitudesself-realizationvaluesyouth
The modern development of society, cardinal changes in the political, economic, spiritual spheres of our life mediate the profound changes in the consciousness of society. The sociocultural environment is a powerful formative element of an integral personality system. In conditions of social changes, a high level of social dynamics, the sociocultural environment itself is undergoing serious changes, and therefore social groups and individuals become active participants in the construction of its new quality. That is why the value system of modern youth, formed by such an environment, is of particular interest and deserves close attention and study.
Value orientations play an important role both in regulating the behavior of a single individual and in coordinating the activities of large and small groups, culture and the nation as a whole. In connection with the fundamental transformations of society, the necessity to study the value orientations of different social groups becomes relevant. With the change of epoch, some values become insignificant or disappear altogether, others, preserving the object of significance, change the internal content, a number of fundamentally new values appear. The study of transformation in the worldview, the consciousness of modern youth is of particular importance.
In accordance with the requirements of the Bologna Declaration, which Russia signed in 2003, the principle «Lifelong education» is proclaimed. This principle determined the content of the main regulatory documents that determine the development of education for the coming decades (The State Program of the Russian Federation «Development of Education» for 2013–2020).
The value of higher education among young people is currently stably high. Young people are focused on a level of education that guarantees high salaries and career growth. Modern people understand that in order to be competitive, in demand on the labor market, it is necessary to constantly study, improve their qualifications, as knowledge becomes obsolete today very quickly, the requirements for professionalism of workers in almost all areas are very high (Postnikova & Chicherina, 2016).
Today, employees of many specialties are forced to update and supplement their knowledge regularly in order to do their job correctly and remain in demand on the labor market. The abilities to quickly find and master the necessary information, often independently, are very important today (Aymautova & Ushnev, 2004; Mikhailova, 2010).
The value-semantic sphere of personality includes two main components – value orientations and a system of personal meanings. Both components are inseparably linked with the concept of personality, since they are closely related to the study of human behavior and motives. As general scientific concepts, they contribute to the unification of the studied objects of different sciences.
The topic of semantic formations of personality is one of the main areas of research in modern psychology of Asmolov, Bratus, Frankl, Leontiev, Rubinstein and others.
Asmolov (2002) believes that the main characteristic of a person’s individuality is a system of personal meanings, being the product of the life and life of the subject. “Personal meaning is an individualized reflection of reality, expressing a person’s attitude to those objects for which his activity and communication unfolds” (Asmolov, 2002).
The founder of speech therapy Frankl (1990) develops the idea of acquiring the meaning of life, which helps a person with dignity to accept the consciousness of his own fragility of being. The meaning is unique to each individual, but if it is adopted by a social community, it becomes a universal value, advancing culture.
Bratus (2000) says that semantic formations are the basic formative units of consciousness of a person, which determine the attitude to the main spheres of life. Personal meanings (often unconscious) differ from the values of the person (conscious and accepted by man). Semantic formations create a perspective for the development of personality and help to conduct a moral assessment and regulation of behavior. The development of the value-semantic sphere moves in the direction from pragmatic or egocentric attitudes to universal values and at the same time, from unstable relations to conscious, stable value-meaning orientations. The highest level is the transformation of reality in accordance with moral ideals and values.
Leontiev (1999) notes the threefold nature of meaning, highlighting the ontological, phenomenological and activity aspects of semantic reality. As a result of this, he defines the meaning as «the relationship between the subject and the object, or the phenomenon of reality, which is determined by the place of the object (phenomenon) in the life of the subject, distinguishes this object (phenomenon) in the image of the world and is embodied in personal structures that regulate the behavior of the subject in relation to this object (phenomenon)» (Leontiev, 1999).
Theory of psychological systems (TPN) by Klochko (2005) considers a person as an open self-organizing system, and the world of a specific person, or the «mental space» of a person, as a «transition layer», the space between objective and subjective realities. The scientist considers the sequence of the formation of the multidimensional world of man as the acquisition of new dimensions – first values, then meanings and finally values. It is values that provide stability, sustainability of the life world in time. Meanings and values are the basic constructions in the multidimensional world of an adult. Meanings and values are reflected by emotions and through them open up the possibility of further development for a person; emotions arise spontaneously, they are the result of projection into the environment of a person’s present state, as well as his needs and capabilities (Klochko, 2005).
Thus, the category «meaning» characterizes the purely human ability to deeply comprehend Being (existence), to build an integral picture of the world, to seek and find its place in it, to regulate its behavior in accordance with higher, supra-situational goals. All this points to the developing potential of the semantic sphere of personality (Kokovina, 2009).
Values are the basic constructions in the multidimensional world of an adult and they provide stability of the life world in time. Values determine the orientation of goals and worldviews. Consequently, values as the basic constructs of the multidimensional world of man also determine the orientation of the search for happiness and the qualitative characteristics of the state of human well-being itself. We are talking about well-being, understood in different ways, depending on how significant these or those values are for a person. Subjective well-being, in turn, is a person’s global assessment (both emotional and cognitive) of how real life corresponds to his idea of the ideal; therefore, it also reflects how much the person’s values and motives are realized in real life (Muravyova & Popkova, 2010).
Value orientations are defined in the literature as:
A relatively stable, socially determined orientation of a person toward certain goals that have a meaning for life and for certain ways to achieve them, expressed in the form of any personal qualities, patterns of behavior and which are relatively independent of real situations (Yanitsky, 2012; Zhuravleva, 2006).
Rubinstein (2003) understands values as derivatives of the relationship between the world and man, “the presence of values is an expression of a person’s indifference to the world, arising from the significance of various sides, aspects of the world for a person, for his life” (Rubinstein, 2003).
Value orientations are based not so much on ideas about social norms and requirements of society as on a subjective picture of reality that has formed in the individual’s mind. The phenomena and objects of reality are interesting for an individual only to the extent that they make sense, meaning for his life. These meanings are created by culture; it forms a subjective, symbolic reality, on the basis of which value orientations are formed as a derivative of subjective reality (Klimenkova, 2013).
The study of the value orientations of youth makes it possible to identify the degree of its adaptation to new social conditions and its innovative potential. The future state of society largely depends on what value foundation will be formed. Value is social in nature and develops only at the level of social community (both a separate social layer and society as a whole, in this study – generations). The individual values formed in the process of activity are social and collective phenomena.
The modern education system focuses not only on the transfer of public experience to the younger generation but also on the development of man and personality. The student acts as a subject of professional activity and life creation which is influenced by many ideas and values of various cultural forms, styles and directions. The main role of the education system is to educate a person who is able to navigate in a complex sociocultural space, able to find its own value system in it, to realize itself as a person.
The most important aspect of developing education, the process of formation of the learner’s personality, the experience of understanding the world and its contradictions, finding oneself in the world, the formation of an individual system of values and life guidelines is meaning formation. In the context of teaching the process of sense formation is determined by how much the student perceives the educational and cognitive situation as problematic in terms of its meaning, to what extent the subject material is mastered, understood or accessible, whether the content of the subjects studied has already affected the existing interests, inclinations, motives, personal values (Belyakova & Degtyarev, 2011).
Education is an ongoing process of human development through the organization of one’s own mental activity aimed at assimilation, updating and application of knowledge and generalized methods of action, the formation of certain socially significant personal qualities and value relationships to reality, the disclosure of one’s potential capabilities in a specially organized and / or spontaneous interaction with external subjects and objects that are carriers of knowledge, value orientations and behavior models, the result of which is the acquisition of personal qualities and properties that were not there before (Shishov, 2010).
Value orientations are formed during the assimilation of social experience and are found in deeds, ideals, beliefs, interests with an estimated attitude and other manifestations of personality. The basis of a person’s relationship to the objects of reality is his assessment, which expresses the ability of this object to satisfy the needs, interests and goals of a person (Shipitsina & Petrenko, 2006).
Purpose of the Study
The value orientations of Russian youth were considered as a subject of research. To achieve this goal and solve the identified problems, quantitative and qualitative research methods were used. The research team conducted a representative survey of youth and a group of professionals on a formalized questionnaire.
Russian youth maintain a common core of values with older generations with professional self-determination, work experience and self-realization in work. The study analyzes the value orientations of two age and social groups. The first group of subjects is a special social community consisting of first-year students of the Institute of Economics of Altai State University aged 18–19 years, being in the process of formation of a value system structure, the choice of a professional and life path, which does not have a real position on the social scale. The second group includes students of the Presidential program for training management personnel for national economic organizations of the Russian Federation, leaders and specialists of leading organizations in the Altai Territory aged 40 to 50 years. This group, with respect to a specific group of youth, has certain social statuses in the family and professional sphere of activity and has a fairly stable system of values.
The study of the first group of subjects showed that for students the most significant values are family (37 %), knowledge (28 %), career (24 %), such values as love, friendship, material well-being make up the remaining 11 %. The main values of young people and older generations (40+) coincide – this is the family (37 % and 41 %). But then they diverge: among young people in second place – knowledge and self-realization, which is possible with a good education, in third – a career that depends on the level of education and determines the professional future. Businessmen and entrepreneurs ranked second in health (29 %), third – knowledge to maintain a high professional level (25 %). Unlike students, businessmen attach great importance to their inner life, condition, and significant relationships. The ideas of success and career have become significant for young people.
As a result of the study, it was determined that the values of «knowledge», «professional self-realization», «career» occupy a significant place in the structure of the basic values of modern students. The value attitude is formed in the process of activity and is realized through activity. A person can choose a goal, form a strategy for future behavior, based on an individual value system.
Student's value orientations substantively reflect his philosophical, moral beliefs, deep and constant attachments, principles of behavior. Values are oriented towards the real embodiment of the future through its presentation and play the role of a mechanism of personality development (Kudashkina, 2009)
The world of human values is incredibly diverse. A scientific analysis of this variety necessarily involves its systematization. Classification of values is possible for many reasons. The value orientations that determine the life goals of a person express respectively what is most important to him and has a personal meaning for him. Personality values are characterized by the following features:
the total number of values that are human property is relatively small;
the influence of values can be traced in almost all social phenomena;
the origins of values are traced in culture, society and the individual;
all people have the same values but to varying degrees;
values are organized into systems;
values are concepts or beliefs;
values are related to desired end states or behavior;
values are supra situational in nature;
values govern the selection or evaluation of behavior and events;
values are ordered by relative importance (Tropotyaga, 2001).
The spiritual needs and values of the individual do not arise “on their own” but are determined by the social environment of the individual in the slow process of his upbringing and education. At the same time, at the beginning, society directly forms in a person only the most elementary spiritual values and needs that ensure his socialization (Khutornaya & Barkalova, 2018).
Since the beginning of the 90s, youth began to sharply increase motivation for higher education, the values of education and intelligence as well as for comfortable living conditions (Dolbik-Vorobey, 2005).
Women gained the opportunity to receive equal education with men, economic independence from a husband and the possession of the majority of women with professional knowledge which oriented women toward realization in the professional sphere rather than family. This, in turn, contributes to a change in the priority position of the family in the hierarchy of values of modern youth and also determines the dominance of the career setting over the child-bearing (Evgrafova, 2012).
In the process of training, ideas about the social status and content of the chosen profession undergo significant changes under the influence of various factors; the meaning of the future profession may change in the direction of negative polarity. Duration of study at a university, a single type of activity, a single nature of work, a common educational goal, age and psychological uniformity determine the formation of social aspects of identity. “I-concept” in this life situation is defined by young people as belonging to a separate social group – students. This means that the start and end time of training for a person is a period of transition from one meaning-life situation to another with all the ensuing consequences: breaking down existing stereotypes, adapting to other living conditions, a different sociocultural environment and changing of economic and socio-demographic status. The period of study at a university can be defined as a special meaning-life period in a person’s life associated with experiencing a crisis of professional identification, i.e., identification of oneself with the subject of future professional activity (Seruy, 2007).
On the whole, the hierarchy of the key life values of students is still quite traditional: family welfare is the priority value, getting education is in the second place, and career is in third place. Currently, the social role of labor for modern Russian students has lost its former significance, labor is considered primarily as an instrumental tool for self-realization, achieving individual successes and satisfying personal ambitions.
At present, the choice of a profession by the young generation is controversial. On the one hand, it is determined by individual personal interests and abilities and on the other, by the criteria of prestige and high earnings. Modern youth considers work primarily as a way to provide for themselves and loved ones, as a means of satisfying material needs, regardless of the types and forms of employment.
The formation of the social and labor orientation of student youth, its formation depends not only on the young generation but also on the practical implementation of the principles of an integrated youth policy in the country. State efforts are required to create favorable conditions for the successful integration of youth into the system of socio-economic relations, for the adoption of socially significant values and legal norms, the formation of patterns of labor behavior and a holistic worldview (Retivina, 2019).
As a result of the analysis of the study of the value orientations of students, we came to the conclusion that modern youth is more focused on ethical values, less on pragmatic ones. Thus, according to the system of value orientations one can judge the nature of the development of social relations, the prospects for the development of society. The study of the value orientations of youth makes it possible to identify the degree of its adaptation to new social conditions and its innovative potential.
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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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Korneeva, A. V., Usvyat, N. D., Dobrydina, T. I., Kononova, V. A., & Shipilova, T. V. (2021). The Formation Of Value-Semantic Orientations And Attitudes Of Youth. In I. Savchenko (Ed.), National Interest, National Identity and National Security, vol 102. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 552-559). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2021.02.02.69