The article uses the theoretical and methodological standpoint of Gilbert Durand’s theory of archetypes to interpret ethnic archetypes of Ukrainians, which are manifested in the set of value dispositions of students attending educational and rehabilitation institutions. The authors substantiate the idea that the influence of archetypal determinants in children is manifested primarily in value dispositions that act as potentials for their future behaviour; they are the projection of the collective unconscious influence on the social morality of a particular society and the formation of universal prototypes that determine the living environment of each individual and the entire community, eventually affecting the construction of social reality. Based on the survey conducted among senior students of educational and rehabilitation institutions of Ukraine, it is empirically shown that the value structure of student youth is formed mostly regardless of their gender, reflecting the main national archetypes (freedom-loving Cossack society, cordocentrism, the concept of “fertile land”, peasantry character, the image of Goddess-Mother) and includes such traits of national character as democratic nature, opulence, thrift, diligence, religiosity and respect for women. The article demonstrates the analytical and interpretative value of the conceptual trichotomy “diurnal – dramatic nocturnal – mystical nocturnal” introduced by G. Durand for understanding the archetypal pre-conditions of students’ choices of priority values. The authors analyse the specific features of the value sphere of students with disabilities: when compared to children without disabilities, they show lower indicators for almost all value points. It is suggested that these differences are evidence of the lesser manifestation of archetypes and national character traits due to preferential focusing on health issues, the need to monitor and control physical condition increasingly, coordination of movements, etc. Because of this, in students with disabilities, the postural reflex, which belongs to the sphere of the diurnal influence, retains its activity after reaching physical maturity and often manifests itself in the unprecedented psychological vitality of people belonging to this category.
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