Threatened identities


The article is an extended version of the speech at the Fulbright Roundtable “National and Social Identities in Post-Soviet Ukraine: The Case of Lviv and Donetsk”, which took place on June 28, 2018 within the framework of the Summer Convention of The International Association for the Humanities (IAH) “Image of the Self” in Lviv. During this round table, preliminary implementation results of the International Sociological Project “Lviv-Donetsk: Sociological Analysis of Group Identities and Hierarchies of Social Loyalties” (1994–2015) were presented by a group of authors representing various socio-humanities sciences – social psychology, sociology and history. Therefore, the article provides examples of the exchange of meanings between social psychology and sociology in relation to the assessment of the threats impact on the identification processes, the points of contact between them and the indicated differences in the interpretation of the obtained sociological information. The work considers a number of threats that could have had a different impacts on the formation or reformatting of the identities of the inhabitants of six major Ukrainian cities – Lviv, Donetsk, as well as Kyiv, Odesa, Dnipro and Kharkiv in 2015. According to the factor analysis, eight groups of threats were identified, of which corruption and socio-economic threats (growth of economic inequalities among citizens, inflation, unemployment, rising prices, etc.) were observed on the dominant positions for respondents of all cities, including temporarily occupied Donetsk. The correlations between the socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and their attitude to the threats showed a small weight of the first, except for the city/region of residence. Examples are provided depending on the respondents’ level of identities from these cities to various threats. The threats are identified in the assessment of which there is unanimity or diversity of opinions between them, as well as the greatest differences are shown between the respondents regarding the Russian status and the threat of war with Russia. The conclusions emphasize that the existing threats have greatly influenced the strengthening and crystallization of the identities of Lviv, a certain approximation to them of the identities of the capital residents, an increase in the proportion of Ukrainian identity among Kharkiv, Dniprians and Odessites, as well as the fragmentation and decentralization of identities respondents from temporarily occupied Donetsk. A number of theses were formulated that require additional study and interpretation by representatives of the socio-humanities sciences (regarding the formation of a new configuration of regions in Ukraine, the formation of the newest Ukrainian political nation and the presence of Donetsk residents in the mental field of Ukraine, etc.).

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