The study of value representations of a sociocultural community construction considering the interdisciplinary interaction of history and empirical sociology

This article is concerned with the issues of interdisciplinary interaction of history and empirical sociology as related to the study of value representations of a socio-cultural community construction. The authors focus on fixing historical trends in the formation of the socio-cultural community of Kazakhstan at the micro level. Sociocultural community refers to representatives of one society who identify themselves with it and are endowed with a number of similar historically determined cultural characteristics, norms and values that distinguish them from representatives of other societies. Regarding Kazakhstan, we are talking about the influence of the historical experience of different generations, including the Soviet and earlier periods, which have influenced the processes of the socio-cultural community developing at the present stage, since they are still part of the identity of a significant number of representatives of Kazakh society. Based on the research, the authors conclude that age and ethno-cultural factors have significant impact on the effectiveness of the historical transformation of spiritual and moral values leading to formation of Kazakhstan's identity and the success of the construction of Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community which is determined by different strategies of socialization, language practice and historical experience of the respondents.


The issues of interdisciplinary collaboration of history with related socio-humanitarian sciences are now gaining currency. The gradual transformation of historical knowledge in the direction of interdisciplinary discourse, which has been significantly developed since the second half of the last century, primarily by the school of «annals» and historical anthropology, is associated both with the integration of methodology and research results of a number of humanitarian disciplines, and with the actualization of the historical approach in the field of socio-humanitarian knowledge [1, p. 31]. The complexity of the object and subject of research, increasing of the source base, attention to the historical aspects of everyday life have contributed to the development of an interdisciplinary methodology of historical analysis, especially «modern history». These processes are also influenced by the general intellectual atmosphere of the modernity, related to the awareness of the complexity of historical analysis of the social reality, which often cannot be fully studied by referring exclusively to «traditional» sources.

In this regard, sociological methods are increasingly employed in historical science as one of the tools for studying various specific historical problems [2].

Thus, the survey method developed in sociological science, in particular, a questionnaire survey, is becoming more widely used in historical research. This method, subject to a number of conditions, is an effective addition to the cognition methods developed within historical science. As E.S. Senyavskaya, a well- known specialist in the field of social history and the history of everyday life, suggests, «if the participants and contemporaries of the studied events are still alive, the historian has a unique opportunity to use the people themselves as a direct source of information. The advantage in this case is that the researcher can manage the process of creating a new source in accordance with the needs of the research, specify and refine the data obtained» [3, p. 28].

The methodological advantages and limitations of using questionnaires in historical research are related to the specifics of this method, which is a written inquiry form, carried out without direct contact between the respondents and the researcher. The questionnaire survey allows you to interview a fairly large number of people in a relatively short time, and the respondents have the opportunity to carefully consider their answers to the questionnaire questions.

Corresponding author. E-mail: (I.D. Khlebnikov)

As a rule, questionnaires very rarely cover all the representatives of the studied communities due to great number of them, so it often is selective. As a result, the reliability of the information obtained in the course of conducting a questionnaire survey depends on a correctly constructed and calculated sample, that is, the sector of the studied community that is directly surveyed.

Questionnaire survey in this case serves as a kind of method of «oral history». It is widely practiced in the world historical science. The use of questionnaires is appropriate in the case of relative incompleteness of traditional written sources, which is most relevant for such areas of historical science as modern history, the history of everyday life and social history. According to Paul Thompson, a British historian studying the theory and practice of «oral history», eyewitness accounts allow us to clarify the existing approaches to the interpretation of facts, to correct the previous interpretation of historical events and identify their representation at the personal level [4, p. 263].

The use of questionnaires to identify these evidences allows us to show how «the objective is inextricably linked with the subjective, to bridge the gap between the public and private world» [4, p. 299].

At the same time, the use of questionnaires in historical research can not be considered a separate branch of historical science, but rather a way to involve a new category of sources in historical analysis, which has an undeniable «attractive aspect — the ability to penetrate the process of forming of mass historical consciousness» [5, p. 284].

The extrinsic value of the data obtained by direct access to participants and witnesses of historical events is determined by the fact that they reproduce their stable impressions, present an attitude to historical changes that are taking place, and give subjective assessments of historical aspects of various social processes that are not recorded in other sources.

The study of axiological representations of the history Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community developing is currently one of the most pressing problems, since the state sovereignty is fundamentally reinforced in the people's value orientations. The success of the development of an independent state is supported at the personal level by the formation and development of an appropriate value-normative complex and national identity. Value system performs the main function in the formation of national unity in the broad sense of this concept.

Currently, the process of forming of Kazakhstan socio-cultural community is being completed. It is influenced by the various historical, social, political, and economic factors. The main ones should be recognized as the impact of two different processes: modernization and traditional. The first one promotes social activity of the people, changes in adaptation strategies in the direction of economic independence and political activity. The second one manifests itself in conservative, protective. These value systems correspond to the axiological aspect of the historical process in Kazakhstan and correspond to the development of society.


The purpose of the research is to study the processes of value representation of the Kazakh identity and the formation of socio-cultural community.

The object of the research is the population of the Karaganda region (1,386,800 people). The subject of the research is the value orientations of the people.

The main hypothesis of the study is formulated as follows. A preliminary analysis of the research problem suggests that the effectiveness of the historical transformation of spiritual and moral values related to the formation of Kazakhstan's identity and, accordingly, the success of the Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community construction is influenced primarily by the age and, to a lesser extent, the ethnicity of the respondents. The possible reason is different strategies of the socialization and the language practice.

According to this hypothesis, the research contains the blocks of questions related to the following aspects: the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents; the ratio of national and ethnic identification; religious identity; patriotic values; attitudes to various socio-political institutions.

The main hypothesis is neutral to other factors that determine the formation of the socio-cultural community, thus, it seems appropriate to put forward additional hypotheses. These include:

  1. the effectiveness of Kazakhstan's identity formation does not depend on gender characteristics;
  2. the respondents' attitude to the process of formation of Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community is influenced by their economic situation;
  3. language practice largely determines an individual's assessment of the prospects for the formation of the socio-cultural community in Kazakhstan.

To verify the formulated hypotheses it is required to solve the following problems.

To verify the main hypothesis it is necessary to identify the nature of the influence of age and ethnicity factors on the success of the formation of Kazakhstan's identity and socio-cultural community. To verify additional hypotheses, it is necessary to identify the nature of the influence of gender and economic factors on the formation of socio-cultural community, to analyze the attitude of respondents to the state's language policy and the specifics of their language practice.

The General population, represented by the total population of the Karaganda region as at date of January 1, 2017, was 1,386,800 people. The sample type is simple random non-repetitive. The sample frame size is calculated with the formula:

Socio demographic characteristics of the respondents

Number of representatives of the corresponding categories in the sample (as a percentage)







Under 25

21.6 %

From 25 to 40

27.9 %

From 40 to 60

29.4 %

From 60 and older

21.1 %








Socio-professional group

Workers and peasants

12.8 %

Office workers

13.5 %

Students (of universities, colleges, professional schools)

24.5 %





Household manager

7.0 %

Service sector employees

14.6 %

Military personnel, police, prosecutors, etc.

3.6 %




























Table 1 Socio demographic characteristics of the respondents

Results and Discussion

In Kazakhstan, since gaining state sovereignty, the tendency to build a socio-cultural community based on a common civil identity has prevailed. This was facilitated by the experience of everyday interaction in a multi-ethnic and multicultural environment. In this regard, 53.7 % of respondents acknowledge the high significance of the national values in Kazakhstan's society, and 27.3 % — their sufficient prevalence. Only % of respondents deny such values, 11.7 % — believe that the general Kazakh values are not particularly significant, and 5.2 % — found it difficult to answer. At the same time, there is some differentiation of responses related to ethnicity: respondents of Kazakh nationality show greater confidence (55.7 %) in the significance of national values than respondents of other nationalities (50.3 %). The distribution of the responses was also significantly influenced by the age group. The younger age group (under 25 years) believe the of national values in Kazakhstan's society is highly significant (60.2 %), unlike the older group (40–60 years) that shows the less figures (47.8 %).

The identification code of the respondents is dominated by citizenship («citizen of Kazakhstan», «Ka- zakhstani») — 52.1 %. Ethnicity is more significant for 24.2 % of respondents; religious affiliation is more significant for 13.5 %; 10.2 % found it difficult to answer this question. And again, there is the differentiation noted above. Kazakh citizenship is more important for respondents of Kazakh nationality than for respondents of other nationalities: 57.4 % vs. 43.6 % respectively. Among the latter, religious identification is more common (16.8 % vs. 11.5 %), as well as almost twice as many people who are difficult to answer (14.1 % vs. 7.7 %). It is worth noting the high prevalence of civil identity among males (57.9 % vs. 48.0 %) and religious identity among females (17.3 % vs. 8.2 %). Civil identity prevails in the oldest age group of respondents (60 years and older) — 69.1 %, while religious identity is more common in the middle age groups (25 to 40 years — 19.6 %; 40 to 60 years — 15.9 %) and significantly less common in the oldest (60 years) age group — 8.7 % and especially in the youngest (under 25 years) group — 7.2 %.

In the historical perspective, the data obtained prove that the identification matrix of Kazakhstan citizens has changed almost completely since the state sovereignty. According to the survey of the population of Kazakhstan conducted in 1991, the vast majority of the respondents — about 86.0 % — had a developed Soviet identity; identification with independent Kazakhstan was at an extremely low level [7, p. 71]. Our survey of residents of one of the most multiethnic and multicultural regions of Kazakhstan that is the Karaganda region shows a confident predominance of the Kazakh civil identity in almost all categories of respondents, confirming the historical success of the Kazakhstan project. At the same time, a quarter of the respondents have primary ethnic identification, and this figure is not subject to significant differentiation in the categories of the respondents identified by nationality.

The majority of the respondents (69.0 %) are convinced that a socio-cultural community — the «United Kazakhstan nation» — has been formed, 17.2 % — doubt this, and 12.8 % — deny this fact. At the same time, respondents of Kazakh nationality (77.0 %) are more optimistic than representatives of other ethnic groups (56.4 %), among whom there are twice as many who believe that the process of forming of a socio — cultural community in Kazakhstan is far from being complete («rather not» — 24.8 % vs. 12.3 %; «no» — % vs. 9.4 %).

What calls attention to itself is the fact that as the age of respondents increases their belief in the success of building a socio-cultural communities of Kazakhstan is increasing retrospectively (the total positive evaluation «under 25» — 48,2 %; «25 to 40 years» — 62.6 percent; «40 to 60 years» — 71,7 %; «60 and older» 95.0 %), indicating the influence of historical experience in the older age groups, who underwent all the stages of formation and development of the independent Kazakhstan.

The command of the Kazakh language is another factor of adaptation in the conditions of the emerging Kazakh socio-cultural community. As a rule, those who have a good command of the Kazakh are more optimistic about their future prospects in the country, as well as the process of the national-state construction. Of the total number of respondents, 39.1 % stated fluency in the Kazakh language with a marked differentiation by nationality (Kazakhs — 55.3 %; representatives of other nationalities — 13.4 %). At the same time, a significant part of respondents who do not speak the state language make efforts to master it. Thus, 17.2 % of the respondents study the Kazakh language on their own; 8.3 % — attend language courses, study with tutoring, etc.; 27.6 % — study the language in communication; 2.1 % — learn the language while studying at a University, using mobile apps, as well as through reading fiction. 12.8 % of the respondents do not take any actions to learn the language, and this figure rises to 18.5 % in the older age group, which is quite natural.

The level of Kazakh language proficiency directly correlates with the approval of state policy in the language sphere, and there is also a marked differentiation by nationality, which is obvious, given the ethnically dependent proficiency in the state language noted above. In general, the majority of the respondents have a positive attitude to the language policy implemented in Kazakhstan: 20.0 % — approve; 36.7 % — rather approve. However, 28.4 % of the respondents disapprove of it, while 5.5 % decisively disapprove of it. Those who have no idea what the state language policy includes — 9.4 %. According to this indicator, there is a significant differentiation by nationality: Kazakhs have a more positive assessment of the language policy than representatives of other nationalities — 62.1 % vs. 52.4 % retrospectively.

The majority of the respondents believe that every citizen of the Republic of Kazakhstan must speak the state language («Yes» — 30.2 %; «rather Yes» — 30.5 %). However, the share of those who believe otherwise should be considered significant — it is more than a third («no» — 15.4 %; «rather not» — 23.9 %). It is obvious that the respondents' language practice has a direct impact on this indicator. Thus, 41.3 % of the respondents of Kazakh nationality consider it necessary for all citizens of the Republic to speak the Kazakh language, while only 12.8 % of the respondents of other nationalities think this way. Moreover, the percentage of definitely affirmative responses decreases with increasing of the respondents' age — from 47.0 % in the youngest age group to 19.8 % in the oldest. This distribution testifies to the success of the state language policy aimed primarily at young people. One of the results of Kazakhstan's language policy is the increase in students studying in the Kazakh language during the years of Kazakhstan independence. Thus, in 1991, 1063,6 thousand people studied in Kazkah, compared to 1975,3 thousand people who studies in Russian, while in 20 years, in 2011, the ratio changed to the opposite: 1573,7 thousand students studied in Kazakh while 843,4 thousand people studied in Russian [7, p. 135].

The majority of the respondents (66.1 %) believe that in the future, citizens of all nationalities will form a united Kazakh nation with the preservation of the culture and language of each included ethnic group. The percentage of respondents who have this opinion is lower among respondents of Kazakh nationality (61.3 %) and higher among representatives of other nationalities (73.8 %). There is also an age differentiation: in the group of the respondents «under 25 years» this opinion have 68.7 %; «25 to 40 years» — 56.1 %;»40 to 60 years « — 61.9 %;»60 and older» — 82.7 %. As it can be seen, the largest number of supporters of the nation-citizenship is in the oldest and youngest age groups, while in the middle age groups there are significantly fewer of them. This can be explained by the peculiarities of socialization of the age groups in different historical periods.

Opinions on the construction of the Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community on an ethno-national basis («all citizens of Kazakhstan make up the Kazakh nation on the basis of the Kazakh language and Kazakh culture») are held by 25.5 % of the respondents, and among Kazakhs they are almost twice as many as representatives of other nationalities (31.1 % vs. 16.8 %). Representatives of the middle age groups demonstrate a noticeably greater commitment to this opinion («under 25 years» — 21.7 %; «25 to 40 years» — 35.5 %; «40 to 60 years» — 28.3 %; «60 and older» — 12.3 %).

The majority of the respondents acknowledge the multi-ethnic nature of the population as a competitive advantage of Kazakhstan («Yes» — 35.9 %; «rather Yes» — 41.7 %). Less than a quarter of those who believe otherwise (4.4 % «no»; 18.0 % «rather not»). It should be noted that Kazakhs are more critical of this statement; 75.4 % of them agree with the fact that the multinational composition of the population of Kazakhstan contributes to the successful development of the country as a whole, compared to 81.2 % of representatives of other ethnic groups. The opposite opinion is held by 24.6 % and 18.8 %, respectively.

It should be noted that the significant ethnocentricity of the representatives of the middle age groups noted above, is also evident. 92.5 % of the respondents aged 60 years and older; 89.2 % of respondents aged under 25 years; 71.0 % of respondents aged 25 to 40 years and 64.6 % of respondents aged 40 to 60 years positively assess the multinational nature of Kazakhstan's society.

The respondents assess the prospects for preserving the multi-ethnicity of the population of Kazakhstan as follows. The relative majority of the respondents (45 %) believe that the multi-ethnic society of Kazakhstan will continue in the future, but those who hold the opposite opinion are not much less (40.9 %), 14.1 %. found it difficult to answer. Almost all categories of the respondents agree with this assessment; there is no group differentiation.

At the same time, relations between the representatives of different ethnic groups living in Kazakhstan are assessed as good (40.6 %) or even improving (18.0 %). 7.0 % of the respondents point to difficulties in interethnic interaction, while 16.2 % of the respondents believe that this interaction is getting worse and there are more conflicts and rivalries. 17.7 % of the respondents found it difficult to answer this question.

An analysis of the distribution of responses by nationality and age category shows the following. The oldest and the youngest age groups are more optimistic than the middle-aged ones. The improvement of relations between representatives of different ethnic groups in Kazakhstan is acknowledged by 26.5 % of the respondents under the age of 25 and 25.9 % — over the age of 60. In the middle age groups, the figures are twice less: «25 to 40 years» — 12.1 %, «40 to 60 years» — 11.5 %.

The Kazakhs perceive the existing system of interethnic relations more positively: 19.6 % of the respondents in this category indicate an improvement in the interethnic interaction (vs. 15.4 % of the representatives of other ethnic groups); 12.8 % acknowledge deterioration (vs. 21.5 % of representatives of other ethnic groups).

The state's social policy is also perceived in the same way: 54.4 % of the respondents believe that their social, civil and political rights are guaranteed by the state, while 38.8 % of the respondents doubt this, and 6.8 % found it difficult to answer. At the same time, this indicator differs significantly depending on the ethnicity of the respondents: 63.0 % of the respondents of Kazakh and 40.9 % of other nationalities acknowledge the guarantees of their rights, while 30.6 % and 51.7 %, respectively, doubt this.

This imbalance in ethnic and age characteristics in relation to various characteristics of the formation of Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community is mostly due to the influence of the economic situation of the respondents. Thus, in the most optimistic groups of the respondents, the assessment of their economic situation is noticeably higher. 23.8 % of the respondents of Kazakh nationality say that the economic situation of their family has improved over the past 2 years, while among the representatives of other nationalities there are half as many — 11.4 %. The average rating for the entire data set is 19.0 %. The difference in negative assessments is even more noticeable: only 6.4 % of the respondents of Kazakh nationality recorded deterioration in the economic situation, while in the group of the representatives of other nationalities this figure is 20.8 %, with an average rating for the entire data set — 12.0 %.

As the main reasons for the deterioration of the economic situation, the respondents recorded «inflation, depreciation of the national currency», «price growth», «job loss».

The most important factor influencing the interethnic relations is the national policy of the state aimed at harmonizing and regulating mutual relations between different ethnic groups and, thereby, at strengthening the national unity of the country. The national unity is understood as a condition for ensuring the security of Kazakhstan and its further development on the basis of a shared Kazakh history, shared values and traditions for the representatives of various ethnic groups of the country, and a shared vision of the future development. In the end, the national policy of Kazakhstan is designed to promote the consolidation of the socio-cultural community of Kazakhstan on civil principles, the development of a unified Kazakh identity.

It is significant that the absolute majority of the respondents positively receive the state's interethnic relations policy (positively — 31.3 %; rather positively — 51.8 %; rather negatively — 14.8 %; negatively — %). There is also a differentiation by ethnic and age factors. The total number of the negative estimations is almost twice as high for the representatives of other nationalities as compared to respondents of Kazakh nationality: 21.2 % vs. 12.0 %. Significantly greater approval is shown by the representatives of the youngest and oldest age groups in comparison with the middle aged group: «under 25 years» — 88 %; «25 to 40 years» — 77.6 %; «40 to 60 years» — 77.8 %; «60 years and older» — 92.6 %.

The respondents' justifications for their opinions on this issue were given as answered to an open question, that is, the respondents themselves formulated their answers. The most frequent positive ratings are listed below.

«The representatives of different nationalities live together in the country, without conflicts, in stability and peace.» «There are no ethnic conflicts.» «The state ensures stability in the sphere of interethnic rela- tions.» «The policy is focused on unity, friendship and mutual understanding of people of different nationalities, and the struggle against terrorism.» «There is no civil war or civil strife.»

As can be seen, the respondents emphasize, first of all, harmony and unity, which have become a historical result of the state policy of regulating interethnic relations that has been carried out since independence. The overall positive picture is not disturbed by certain negative assessments that emphasize, according to respondents, «a tendentious focus on the Kazakh nationality, the exclusion of other ethnic groups from con- sideration.»

The contribution of statesmen, political institutions and public organizations to the historical process of formation of Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community is perceived differently by respondents. The highest estimate was given to the activities of Elbasy, the First President N.A. Nazarbayev, and the Assembly of

People of Kazakhstan, which were preferred by about three-quarters of the respondents. The performance of the government, the Parliament, public organizations, and local authorities is somewhat lower (Fig. 1).

Herewith, the activities of the Assembly of the people of Kazakhstan to maintain interethnic harmony are estimated positively by 36.2 % of respondents; rather positively — 37.5 %; rather negatively — 16.1 %; negatively — 3.9 %; those who do not know about this socio-political institution — 6.3 %. As can be seen, the historical role of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, which is to develop Kazakhstan's identity through the consolidation of ethnic groups in Kazakhstan and the preservation of interethnic harmony, is convincingly emphasized by respondents.


In the course of the research, the main hypothesis about the impact of the age and, to a somewhat lesser extent, the ethnicity of the respondents on their view of effectiveness of the historical transformation of spiritual and moral values on the formation of Kazakhstan's identity and the success of building a Kazakh sociocultural community was confirmed. The main reason is the different strategies of socialization, language practice, and historical experience of the respondents.

The following additional hypotheses were also confirmed: the effectiveness of the formation of Kazakhstan's identity does not depend on gender characteristics; the respondents' attitude to the process of Kazakhstan's socio-cultural community forming is influenced by their economic situation; language practice largely determines the individual's assessment of the prospects for the formation of Kazakhstan's sociocultural community.



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Year: 2020
City: Karaganda
Category: History