Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


2020 Vol. 13 Issue 73

Velkova K. Multiple identities of Russians and Bulgarians: Intercultural comparison

Full text in Russian: Велкова К. Множественные идентичности русских и болгар: кросс-культурный анализ

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

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It has been revealed that people belonging to various groups ascribe different value and emotional importance to those groups as well as they form many group identities. However, the importance of group identity may also vary on a cultural level. This study aimed to compare group identification of Bulgarians and Russians – two culturally similar groups that chose different developmental paths in the last 30 years. In particular, we examined the relations between five group identities: national, religious, regional, Soviet/Communist, and European. A sample of 233 Russians and 279 Bulgarians underwent an online survey. Scales from the Mutual Intercultural Relations In Plural Societies (MIRIPS) questionnaire and Verkuyten’s religious identity scale were used. The collected data was analyzed using multiple regression and correlation analysis separately for each subsample. Results showed significant differences in the identification of Russians and Bulgarians on five investigated categories. Moreover, the pattern of correlations between the group identities suggested variance in the group identity structure of the two subsamples. Among the Russians national, regional, religious, and Soviet identities were positively interrelated. Among the Bulgarian subsample two core identities were observed: religious and regional. These two identities served as a “bridge” between European and national identification. Finally, the sociocultural changes were suggested to influence the identity structure in both countries. The striving of Bulgarians to distance from the country’s Communist past might account for the disconnection of Communist identity from the other identity types. In turn, the political disagreements between Europe and Russia might be preventing Russians from cultivating an integral sense of belonging to Europe.

Keywords: group identity, intercultural differences, multiple identities, culture, identity correlation

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Acknowledgements / Acknowledgement
Author would like to thank professor Nadezhda Lebedeva (National Research University Higher School of Economics) for her kind assistance and guidance in article preparation.

The article was prepared within the framework of the HSE University Basic Research Program.

Cyrillic letters are transliterated according to BSI standards. The titles are given in author’s translation.

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Received 16 April 2020. Date of publication: 04 November 2020.

About author

Velkova Kristina. PhD Student, Research intern, PhD school of psychology, Centre for sociocultural research, Faculty of social science, Department of psychology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, ul. Myasnitskaya, 20, 101000 Moscow, Russia.
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Suggested citation

Velkova K. Multiple identities of Russians and Bulgarians: Intercultural comparison. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2020, Vol. 13, No. 73, p. 6. (in English, abstr. in Russian).

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