Background. The authors of the paper enquire how the continuity and maintenance of social identity is carried out from generation to generation. Particular attention is drawn to the memory of the traumatic past of the group, such as repression and deportation, as they contradict the widespread view of social identity as a tool for achieving positive individual self-esteem based on a positive image of the group. The paper assumes that cultural memory being a link between the past, the present and the future of the social group ensures the continuity of social identity. Identity that includes the comprehension and experience of the negative past of the group is also considered.
Objective. The objective of this study is to justify the role of cultural memory as the basis of identification with the group and an empirical test of the relationship between the two constructs.
Design. A written questionnaire was offered to 296 people aged between 17 and 70 (M = 26.22, SD = 10.0) who identified themselves as Ingush. The respondents answered questions about their social identity (ethnic, civil and religious), assessed their experiences related to the deportation fact, and substantively argued the need to preserve the cultural memory of the deportation.
Conclusion. The data obtained show that the extent of identity within the group is positively correlated with the extent of the deportation experience, although these experiences are by no means positive (anger, insult, humiliation, heart pain, etc.), and also with the frequency of recalling the fact of deportation and desire to learn more about this event. The obtained results confirm the suggested assumption about the role of cultural memory and allow to develop further research on clarifying the relationship between cultural memory and social identity, assessing the impact of such additional factors as group emotions, psychological well-being, etc.
Russian culture is a high-context one, where a large amount of connotations are included in the process of informational exchange. This phenomenon is reflected in the special importance of nonverbal behaviour, mostly facial expressions. At the same time, the absence of smiling in Russian nonverbal communication is emphasized in numerous cultural studies and common sense.
The article makes an attempt to show that the high-context XIX century Russian culture could be described through the importance of a smile in communication. In order to prove this hypothesis, a content analysis of the novel «Anna Karenina» by Leo Tolstoy was carried out. Results of the research demonstrated that Tolstoy used the smile quite widely as one of the elements of nonverbal behavior of Russians (more than 550 words with a root «smile» were detected; it was also shown that more than 80 different characters (of different importance and class) do smile in the novel). Additionally, to describe smiles The Great Russian writer employed a rich range of linguistic tools, often expressing several emotions at once. The main function of the smile for Tolstoy is communion (obschenie ) since the interaction between the characters is not just seen as an informational exchange, but rather an opportunity to reflect feelings. Smiles accompany the speech, and at the same time they are an independent part of communication. They coincide with the most significant events in the characters lives – birth, wedding and even death.
It is suggested that the lack of a smile, and even the negative attitude of modern Russians toward smiles, is not a traditional feature of Russian culture, but rather Soviet and Post-Soviet ones. The social changes of the XX century resulted in some transformations of the rules of nonverbal expression of emotions – during the years of the Soviet power people stopped smiling and the habit of smiling was gradually lost. The article expresses the hope for the return of a smile to the Russian culture.
The author, Head of Lomonosov Moscow State University's Department of Psychology's Social Psychology Chair, speaks about training and scientific work at the Chair. The features of the curriculum are discussed. Information on the publications of staff is provided.