Modernization and policy of youth socialization in the information age: the example of uzbekistan

Abstract: The article describes the political experience of Uzbekistan in terms of the socialization of citizens under the formation of industrial culture. The author provides recommendations for the development of ideological structures that will help enhance the role of the younger generation in the political life of the country.

A little about terms

Civil socialization is, first of all, the mastering by the younger generation of the values, norms and cultural images that are generally accepted in this society. The result of such socialization is, ideally, a citizen with certain political convictions, able to independently determine his position, make choices and be responsible for himself, guided by his own ideas about what his duties and rights are[6].

At the present time, the essence of the modernization process in Uzbekistan is the implementation of a policy of accelerated industrialization and the formation on this basis of an industrial, urbanized culture with the strongest elements of traditional culture. Industrialization and urbanization against the background of increasingly deepening use of information is the paradigm which frames the development of the country. The policy of civil socialization should be based on these conditions.1

Today, speaking of the processes of socialization, it is important to emphasize the fact that over the past twenty years there have been qualitative changes in Uzbek society.

First of all, as a result of the explosive nature of the development of ICT and the internet in the country, the position in which Uzbekistan finds itself today can in many ways be attributed to countries that have made a sharp breakthrough in terms of the formation of an information society. In 2016, Uzbekistan registered 26.3 million mobile subscribers, or more than 83% of the population. The number of mobile subscribers using mobile internet services exceeds 8.5 million. The total number of internet users in 2016 amounted to over 16 million users (about 450% of the total population of the country). According to experts, the number of Internet users will have reached about 19 million people by 2020.

Thus, as a result of the exponential growth[7] observed in this area, Uzbekistan as it is today can in many ways be attributed to countries that have made a sharp breakthrough in the formation of the information society, primarily in the context of technological support for access by the population and business to information services.

But at the same time, revolutionary changes in access to global Internet resources lead to the following challenges:

– Globalization and the process of de-sover- eignty of national states.

Westernization (or the phenomenon of “cultural imperialism”[8]): the penetration of standards and stereotypes of western culture in modernizing traditional societies, which contributes to the breakdown of traditional culture and ethics and leads to the erosion of national identity.

At the same time, classical media imperial- ism[9], where the point of view of one (or a group) of countries is imposed in different ways, is now turning into a more global, network-centric influence[10] of separate groups united not only and not so much by national priorities as by the interests of global economic and information domination (the new phenomena of “netoc- racy”, “googlecracy”, “corporatocracy”, “new network empire”, etc.).

The rapid development of information and communication technologies and the Internet.

This leads to increased opportunities for access to information in all areas, business development, and distance education. At the same time, this leads to the creation of a radically new situation, where every citizen has the ability to search for and instantly receive any information he/she needs without the participation of state-owned media. For the first time in history, the state is losing its traditional monopoly on the formation of national ideology, public consciousness and the behavioral stereotypes of citizens[11].

The growing role of network communities in the new environment

At the present stage, the main challenge to the state policy of civil socialization is that, as a result of the information explosion, the paradigm of socialization is changing. The role of the traditional institutions of socialization (the education system; the family; the army; trade unions; and religious organizations) is decreasing. Socialization moves into the virtual space. The main form of socialization is social networks at various level. Whoever has the ability to model/ moderate these processes and networks in many respects determines the dynamics and formats of the socialization of young people, regardless of national borders.

Monolithic (from the point of view of social consciousness and ideology) society, characteristic of the agrarian and even the industrial era, in the post-industrial, informational era, is increasingly a thick web in which young people, using ICT and the internet, are involved in non- national/supranational social networks. Joining/ associating themselves with the youth of other countries, united by certain social networks/ connections, often becomes more important than national or state identity for young people.

The phenomenon of youth subcultures, where social networks emerge that unite according to interests (gamers, street racers, street dancers, etc.), leads to the emergence of informal, non-classical, non-traditional forms and institutions that exist, in many ways, in parallel with the formal, traditional system of socialization through institutions. A young person receiving distance education in a foreign university, who is a member of various social networks (for example, a gamer who is a fan of a computer game) and who now can instantly communicate online with like-minded people anywhere in the world, is becoming increasingly problematic in terms of the state policy of civil socialization; and this trend will only intensify.

The key problem of the policy of civil socialization at the present stage in the country is that against the background of the increasing importance of non-institutional factors (ICT, the internet and social networks), the role of the classical institutions of civil socialization is declining; but the implemented policy of civil socialization is not focused on work in the new conditions of the information society. The propaganda methods used are not effectively using the ICT capabilities in working with young people for whom the internet has become the main source of information.

There is a need for a gradual transition from the applied tools and methods of propaganda aimed at reaching as many young people as possible (through print media, state television and radio companies, and the outgoing propaganda formats: conference seminars and round tables), to new methods, focused on a targeted approach when choosing an audience (by groups, by interests and by access possibilities), with an emphasis on the opportunities provided by ICT and the internet. The fundamental point is that the state authorities, the institutions of civil socialization, must, in the conditions of the information age, master the skills to create effective network communications.

At the same time, a new approach is needed when young people are not an object of impact of state policy, passively processing/ not processing information that the state considers necessary to bring to it. In the modern conditions of the information age, a transition to a new paradigm is needed, where youth is not an object, but an active subject of the process of the policy of civil socialization. Taking advantage of ICT opportunities, the younger generation now has the opportunity to escape from the role of a passive object of influence; and can now be an effective repeater of certain approaches, values and positions for other communities (both domestically and abroad); and the most active section of youth can be an active subject participating in the development and promotion of certain provisions; ideological structures/ concepts; and the implementation of political and social projects, large and small. This potential can and should be used.

Year: 2019
City: Almaty