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Influence of boundary position of the Pskov region on sociocultural reference points of the population of the region



NAUCHNYE of the MESSAGE

UDC 316.334.52

A.G. Manakov INFLUENCE

BOUNDARY POSITION of the PSKOV REGION ON SOCIOCULTURAL REFERENCE POINTS of the POPULATION of the REGION

Results of the social researches conducted in 1999 — 2010 and devoted to studying national and supranational (civilization) identity of the population of the Pskov region — the only region of the European Russia, boundary with three states, two of which enter the European Union, are presented at once. Zones of sociocultural influence of neighboring countries on life of the population of border territories are defined. Stereotypic ideas of Russia and neighboring states are revealed, influence of frequency of trips to these countries on the attitude towards them is considered. An assessment by the population of the Pskov region of prospects of cooperation with the European Union is given in comparison with results of similar poll in the Kaliningrad region.

This article presents the results of a sociological research on national and supranational (civilizational) identity of the Pskov region population conducted in 1999-2010. The Pskov region is the only European region of Russia that shares borders with three states, two of which are members of the EU. The author defines the areas of the neighboring countries& sociocultural influence on the lives of the border territory population and determines the stereotypes about Russia and neighboring countries as well as the influence of the frequency of trips to these countries on the attitude towards them. The assessment of the EU Russia cooperation prospects by the Pskov region population is presented in comparison to the results of a similar research conducted in the Kaliningrad region.

Information base of this research includes results of a series of the sociological surveys conducted in 1999 — 2010 within the region presenting "new Russian to a porubezhya" almost throughout border of Russia with Estonia and Latvia. This ethnocultural boundary in the 20th century only within 30 years acted as frontier, however in the previous seven centuries the return proportion was observed: within five centuries the border was political, and only two centuries (XVIII—XIX centuries) had the administrative status.

The Pskov region is the only region of the European Russia, boundary with three states at once. And two of neighboring countries (Estonia and Latvia) accurately are associated local community with the Western cultural world, and one (Republic of Belarus) in the cultural plan seems residents of the area of very close Russia.

The Pogranichnost of the Pskov region leaves a mark on population life within all region. It is promoted by a form of the territory of the area which elongation from the North substantially is defined on the South by the ethnic border existing within many centuries repeatedly taking the form of a political boundary. At the same time along modern frontier the zones of direct sociocultural influence of neighboring countries expressed in narrowness of related friendly relations and intensity of cross-border contacts were created. First of all, sociocultural influence of neighboring countries is experienced actually by borders, in the second — the internal districts of the area adjoining to them called by us a border-zone of the second order.

Thus, it is possible to tell about existence in the Pskov region of three enough zones of contact with neighboring countries, different in sociocultural characteristics: Estonian, Latvian and Belarusian border-zone. Also inside each of these zones stand out clearly

belts actually the borders differing in the greatest intensity of contact with neighboring countries and a belt of the border regions of the second order which are also involved by some criteria to the sociocultural field of foreign neighbors.

Out of zones of the most notable contact with neighboring countries it appeared several districts of the area located in its northeast and the East. These areas which are not testing obvious inclination to one of neighboring countries are called by us internal districts of the area. Also specific position in area is taken by big cities (Pskov and Velikiye Luki) performing functions of the extra zone centers of interstate cooperation as their population almost equally participates in intensive contacts with all three neighboring countries.

The ethnosocial specifics of border districts of the Pskov region are defined by noticeable family or friendly relations of locals with the population of neighboring states. So, for example, every third resident of the areas adjacent to Estonia has in this country of relatives, and still every third — friends or acquaintances. The similar picture is observed in the areas boundary with Belarus. Every fourth of respondents in the extreme South of the area has Belarusians among the relatives. At the same time almost every fifth resident of the areas adjacent to Belarus can speak in Belarusian, and more than a half of local community understands this language [4].

Stereotypic ideas of Russia and neighboring countries

Features of national identification were detected us in 2003 by means of a series of the questions devoted to stereotypic ideas of Russia in comparison with neighboring countries (Estonia, Latvia and Belarus) [3]. The social research was conducted by method of the formalized interview in the Pskov region and the districts of the neighboring regions of Russia adjoining to it. In total 3152 respondent, including were interviewed 2569 — in the Pskov region (on average about 100 people on one administrative unit). Within each administrative region and in both cities of regional submission the representativeness of sample on gender and age is sustained.

In general the image of Russia consists of such characteristics as strong, peaceful, spiritual and independent. On this background Estonia and Latvia seem as more rich, the developed countries. However when comparing Russia with Belarus for the first only three characteristics (strong, independent and spiritual) while Belarus is awarded with such qualities as peaceful, developed and rich remain. Nevertheless a gap between these stereotypes (except for two contrast characteristics: strong Russia and peaceful Belarus) becomes minimum that demonstrates proximity of images of these two Slavic countries as opposed to the states of the Baltic (tab. 1).

Table 1

Characteristics of national stereotypes of Russia and neighboring countries in representation of residents of the Pskov region (2003, in % of number of respondents, N = 2569)

What of the countries more: Russia — Estonia Russia — Latvia Russia — Belarus

Russia Estonia I find it difficult to answer Russia Latvia I find it difficult to answer Russia Belarus I find it difficult to answer

peaceful 80 14 6 81 5 14 22 69 9

strong 81 16 3 77 20 3 69 26 5

spiritual 88 9 3 71 25 4 50 45 5

independent 72 27 1 66 26 8 52 36 12

rich 41 53 6 37 60 3 45 54 1

developed 20 77 3 33 65 2 41 54 5

It should be noted that images of Estonia and Latvia in representation of Russians actually differ in nothing, corresponding to an image of any of "the western countries" rather. In other words, stereotypic idea of Russia in comparison with Estonia and Latvia is reflection of higher level of territorial identity, than national identity.

Actually in this case we deal with supranational — civilization identity that is confirmed by answers of the respondents to a question concerning ethnic stereotypes of Russians in comparison with Estonians, Latvians and Belarusians [5].

As show results of comparison of results of the research conducted by us in 2003 and conclusions of the flight sociological surveys on similar subject conducted during the period from 1999 to 2002 [1; 2], stereotypic ideas of neighboring countries and the people are characterized by considerable stability in time. These stereotypes have no essential differences in different age groups of the population that demonstrates the continuity of their reproduction in the subsequent generations therefore they become a part of cultural tradition of the people.

Relation to the neighboring countries of the European Union (Estonia and Latvia)

Winter of 2009 — 2010 we conducted sociological survey of the population of Pskov and border districts of the Pskov region ^ = 339) which tasks studying regional identity of the population and also influence of border with the European Union on life of the population of the region was among. A research method — the formalized interview. On the question "How You Consider that Existence of Border with the EU Brings to the Pskov Region?" the following answers were received: "only advantage" — 5%, "it is rather an advantage" — 23.5%, "it is rather a harm" — 11%, "only harm" — 2%. Other respondents found it difficult to give the answer to the matter.

Also it was offered to respondents to estimate the relation to two next to the Pskov region Baltic States. In the attitude towards Estonia and Latvia neutral estimates obviously prevail. "the friendly countries" gave answers to 8% of respondents, "just neighbors" — 52%, "unpleasant neighbors" — 16%, "it is rather enemies" — 5%, "I find it difficult to answer" — 19%.

A similar research where the relation of the population of the Pskov region to neighboring states and assessment of prospects of cooperation with them became clear, were carried out by us in 2003 ^ = 2569) [3] and 2006 ^ = 500) [7]. For last years the attitude to the Baltic States in general was changed slightly, the percent of the persons considering Estonia and Latvia the friendly states only considerably went down (from 12% in 2003). Little changes happened as well in assessment by respondents of prospects of the relations between Russia and the Baltic States, namely mainly optimistic forecasts of 2003 (35% at 29% pessimistic) were replaced with much more pessimistic in 2006 (44% at 11% optimistic).

However as we believe, some caution in relation to neighboring countries designated in recent years, nevertheless a temporary phenomenon. The relation to neighboring countries is defined by long-term factors, namely existence in Estonia and Latvia of numerous relatives, friends and familiar residents of the Pskov region.

Frequency of trips to the European Union countries and other regions of Russia

Also the frequency of trips to them positively affects the relation to neighboring states. However, this factor because of frontier of barrier type becomes less significant recently that facilitates a possibility of formation through mass media of more negative image of neighboring countries. So, according to results of research 2009 — 2010, only 12% of respondents at least occasionally are in Estonia and 13% — in Latvia. Frequency of trips to neighboring countries in the last 10 — 15 years almost does not change, but is very small against the background of nearly 100% of visit by elderly respondents of Estonia and Latvia in Soviet period.

Spring of 2008 in the Pskov and Kaliningrad regions the social research which problems studying identity of the population, identification of ideas of locals of a modern social and economic situation, problems and the prospects of development both the region, and Russia in tselom1 was among was conducted. The research of 2008 was conducted on the stratified probabilistic sample among inhabitants of regions aged from 16 years and is more senior. Sample volume — 1460 people in the Kaliningrad region and 740 people — in the Pskov region. The sample is representative on a sex, age and the place of residence.

Flight researches on this subject were conducted as in the Pskov region earlier [1 — 3; 6; 7], and in the Kaliningrad region [8 — 10]. Pskov and Kaliningrad

1 Research is executed with assistance of the Civic chamber of the Russian Federation.

areas since 2004 border on two European Union countries at once. For this reason the comparison of some results of a research in these two most western regions of Russia is of particular interest.

According to results of poll of 2008, only 13.5% of residents of the Pskov region went abroad in recent years, another 29.5% — did not leave several years, and 57% did not go abroad (tab. 2) at all. Residents of Pskov considerably concede in this plan to residents of the Kaliningrad region among whom only 23% did not go abroad, several years — 43% did not leave, but every third of respondents is abroad time in several years and is more often.

Table 2

Frequency of trips of the population of the Pskov region abroad (2008, in % of number of respondents on age groups, N = 740)

How often you leave the Pskov region abroad? Age, years

16 — 19 20 — 29 30 — 39 40 — 49 50 — 59 From 60 All sample is also more senior

Never left 67.7 65.9 50.8 49.6 43.9 65.4 57.2

Several years did not leave 13.8 19.5 27.0 31.9 44.7 31.4 29.5

Not more often than once a year 16.9 10.6 15.6 10.9 7.3 2.7 9.5

Several times a year 1.5 2.4 6.6 7.6 4.1 0.5 3.6

At least once a month 0.0 1.6 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3

It is surprising that residents of Pskov leave to other regions of Russia in comparison with residents of the Kaliningrad region not much more often. "Homebodies", i.e. never leaving to other region 12% of residents of Pskov (tab. 3) and only 9% of residents of Kaliningrad are. Even the youth in the Pskov region is less mobile, than in Kaliningrad.

Table 3

Frequency of trips of the population of the Pskov region to other regions of Russia (2008, in % of number of respondents on age groups, N = 740)

How often you leave the Pskov region to Russian regions? Age, years

16 — 19 20 — 29 30 — 39 40 — 49 50 — 59 From 60 All sample is also more senior

Never left 13.8 13.8 8.2 8.4 10.6 17.0 12.3

Several years did not leave 20.0 22.8 33.6 40.3 42.3 60.1 39.9

Not more often than once a year 33.8 34.1 27.0 26.1 27.6 13.8 25.4

Several times a year 24.6 22.0 28.7 21.8 17.1 9.0 19.2

At least once a month 7.7 7.3 2.5 3.4 2.4 0.0 3.2

However, comparative analysis showed that the collapse of the USSR and change of a political geographical location, first of all the Kaliningrad region strongly affected the frequency and prescription of trips of respondents to Russian regions. It is possible that the arisen problems of visit of Russian regions by residents of Kaliningrad to some extent even stimulate trips to other regions of Russia. You will not tell it about residents of Pskov who have no such problems, however trips to the neighboring regions (at least once a year) are made only by about 48% of respondents (in the Kaliningrad region — nearly 38%).

Assessment of prospects of cooperation with the European Union

Over the four fifth respondents living in the Pskov region consider that the region has to develop more actively communications with the countries of the European Union, including with the neighbors — Estonia and Latvia. Only every tenth of respondents adheres to the opposite point of view (tab. 4). Only 5% of respondents spoke against extension of contacts with the European Union countries in the Kaliningrad region though in general the population attitude towards the prospects of cooperation with the EU in two most western regions of Russia very similar, to be exact, substantially positive.

Table 4

The relation of the population of the Pskov region to development of cooperation with the neighboring countries of the European Union (2008, in % of number of respondents

on age groups, N = 740)

Whether you consider that the Pskov region has to develop more actively communications with the neighboring European countries and the European Union in general? Age, years

16 — 19 20 — 29 30 — 39 40 — 49 50 — 59 From 60 All sample is also more senior

Definitely yes 46.2 37.4 44.3 42.9 30.9 39.9 39.7

Rather yes, than is not present 32.3 39.8 37.7 44.5 45.5 32.4 38.6

It is rather not, than yes 6.2 8.1 7.4 4.2 9.8 5.3 6.8

Definitely not 4.6 4.9 3.3 0.8 3.3 3.7 3.4

I find it difficult to answer 10.8 9.8 7.4 7.6 10.6 18.6 11.5

However the view of the population of two boundary regions of Russia of entry of neighboring countries into the Schengen area does not look so optimistic. In general reaction of residents of Pskov to inclusion of Estonia and Latvia to the European Union and the Schengen area approximately same, as well as residents of the Kaliningrad region on inclusion into Schengen of Lithuania and Poland (tab. 5). More than 36% of respondents supported expansion of the Schengen area (in the Kaliningrad region — 33%), and almost as much residents of Pskov stated the negative relation to this event (and in the Kaliningrad region — even 44%). More negative reaction of residents of Kaliningrad to entry of the surrounding countries into the Schengen area is quite explainable eksklavny position of the region which affects life of all population of the Kaliningrad region. For the Pskov region the change of a visa regime concerned only a part of the population participating in foreign trips.

Table 5

The relation of the population of the Pskov region to inclusion of Latvia and Estonia to the EU and the Schengen area (2008, in % of number of respondents on age groups, N = 740)

What do you think of the fact that the countries of Latvia and Estonia, neighboring to us, were included into the European Union and the Schengen area? Age, years

16 — 19 20 — 29 30 — 39 40 — 49 50 — 59 From 60 All sample is also more senior

Definitely positively 6.2 10.6 15.6 10.9 9.8 8.5 10.4

Rather positively 27.7 19.5 36.1 26.9 23.6 23.4 25.8

Rather negatively 21.5 32.5 18.0 29.4 21.1 22.3 24.2

Definitely negatively 7.7 10.6 9.0 5.9 15.4 15.4 11.4

I find it difficult to answer 36.9 26.8 21.3 26.9 30.1 30.3 28.2

In the Kaliningrad region, in comparison with Pskov, the point of view is more popular that Russia has to become the full member of the European Union (28% against 19% in the Pskov region). And this position is most supported by youth in both boundary regions. Elderly people take more careful position though many cannot give the answer to the matter (tab. 6) at all. The people who are negative to inclusion of Estonia and Latvia into the EU and the Schengen area which are proud of residence in Russia and the Pskov region, but at the same time negatively estimating a situation in Russia suggest to separate from the European Union to a thicket.

Table 6

Ideas of the population of the Pskov region of possible ways of cooperation of Russia with the European Union (2008, in % of number of respondents on age groups, N = 740)

Age, years

How, in your opinion, Russia has to build the relations with the European Union? 16 — 19 20 — 29 30 — 39 40 — 49 50 — 59 From 60 All sample is also more senior

1. Russia has to seek for establishment equal, partnership with the European Union, but without entry into it 50.8 46.3 61.5 61.3 58.5 44.1 53.1
2. Russia has to seek to become the full member of the European Union 23.1 22.8 17.2 16.8 15.4 20.7 19.2
3. Russia should separate, be independent of the European Union 10.8 15.4 7.4 10.9 13.0 13.8 12.2

I find it difficult to answer 15.4 15.4 13.9 10.9 13.0 21.3 15.5

In the Pskov region, unlike Kaliningrad, the point of view enjoys bigger popularity that Russia in the next 15 — 20 years has to return the status of a superpower (27% against 17%). However residents of Kaliningrad in a little bigger degree support a position that Russia has to enter one row with the USA and the European Union on political impact (22% against 17%). But in both boundary regions nevertheless other point of view dominates, and about a half of respondents consider that Russia has to enter number 5 in the near future — 10 economically developed countries of the world (tab. 7).

Table 7

Idea of the population of the Pskov region of the purposes of development of Russia in the 21st century (2008, in % of number of respondents on age groups, N = 740)

How you consider for what goals in the 21st century Russia in the next 15 — 20 years has to strive? Age, years

16 — 19 20 — 29 30 — 39 40 — 49 50 — 59 From 60 All sample is also more senior
1. To enter number 5 — 10 economically developed countries of the world 52.3 56.1 54.1 42.0 43.1 33.5 45.3

Termination of tab. 7

How you consider for what goals in the 21st century Russia in the next 15 — 20 years has to strive? Age, years

16 — 19 20 — 29 30 — 39 40 — 49 50 — 59 From 60 All sample is also more senior
2. To return the status of a superpower what the USSR had 20.0 13.0 17.2 29.4 33.3 38.8 26.9
3. To achieve leadership in the former Soviet Union and to enter one row with the USA and the European Union on political impact 9.2 21.1 18.9 19.3 15.4 14.9 16.9
4. It is not necessary to strive for any global goals 3.1 2.4 4.1 3.4 4.9 6.9 4.5

I find it difficult to answer 15.4 7.3 5.7 5.9 3.3 5.9 6.5

Now the major role in formation of "good-neighbourhood" or "oppositional" model of identity in boundary regions is played by mass media, especially in case the frontier is a formidable obstacle for trips of local community, i.e. performs mainly "barrier" functions. Mass media by means of forming in mass consciousness of a geopolitical scale "the ally — the partner — the rival — the enemy" facilitate to politicians a problem of expeditious designing of images "our" and "others". In case of preservation of opportunities of direct contact of the population living on different sides of frontier, artificial imposing by political elite of neighboring countries of "oppositional" model of identity becomes difficult.

List of references

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