Diagnostic Department
Scientific Advisory Center "Consciousness"
My Great Web page
5.3. Personal identity and their relevance to the conflicts.

Each person has many identities that may compete with each other or complement each other. By itself, the phenomenon has a dual identity-oriented. On the one hand, it is a tool to maintain the subjective reality of the individual. On the other hand, the identity can be used by powerful social groups as a tool of social engineering.

Identity, as a rule, is presented at three levels of existence: at the level of everyday life, at the level of historical memory and at the level of ideological formulas. Change of ethnic identity is quite a powerful resource of changes in the number of a particular ethnic group. First and foremost, this concerns the identity of citizens of the former Soviet empire, so quickly waived identity "Soviet people" in favor of local or regional identities.
In the NC the most significant identity (in descending order of importance):
a) gender;
b) sister;
c) clan (teyp, family);
d) national, ethno-territorial (Republican);

e) religious;
f) cultural and territorial (North Caucasus;-Caucasus);
g) ideological;
h) civil.

Unfortunately, these identities - civil (Russian, a Russian citizen) seems less important. Paradoxical situation, ethnic and religious identities will prevail over the civic, which poses a potential threat to individual nations and, in general, the security of the Russian state. If the definition of foreign ethnic differences between the Russian ("who is called Russian") and the North Caucasus (the "representatives of the North Caucasian peoples") is fixed with respect to evolution (as a combination of anthropometric indicators), the definition of internal borders (religious, cultural, ideological) between them is becoming more clear.

Gender identity in the North Caucasus ethnic groups is a special kind of social identity, which is one of the most important and, along with ethnicity, the most stable of all forms of human social identity.

It should be noted that in the traditional culture of the NC sexual marker emphasizes and ethnic markers, i.e., in order to emphasize the masculine qualities, often used phrases like "you're Chechen (Balkar, Ingush, Ossetians and others)" instead of "you're a man." Thus, identity is not only distinguished by gender, but it also enhanced by the presence of ethnic identity. It is understood that the man (or woman) of a given ethnic group has a specific set of gender-specific characteristics. On this basis, the NC is the most legitimate use the term "ethnogender identity", which includes a wider range of ethnic, cultural and socio-cultural components. Ethnogender identity is self-awareness related to ethno-cultural definitions of masculinity and femininity. The concept is not valid outside of subjective experience and serves as a psychological interpretation of masculine and feminine traits, arising as a result of the interaction of the "I" and "other." These representations are correlation of male and female identity, and brought up in a particular ethno-cultural field.

The formation of gender identity among the peoples of the NC, in addition to the family, occurs in the so-called gender unions, and communities. Being a transcultural phenomenon, rooted in the biological nature of man, the desire to communicate mainly with their own sex is more pronounced in men. Focusing on homosocial communication boys and girls in the NC supported pronounced (hypertrophied) force of public opinion and education system, with any mention of homosexual communication is obscene.

Historical experience shows that it is the ethnic identity becomes an object of political attention, with success using the ethnic values in their ideological doctrines, thus ensuring that they have broad social support. Modern concepts of nationalism helped to see how the politicization of ethnicity. Ethnic identity is formed and understood in terms of cultural borderlands. If there are no external threats, ethnic identity is part of a private life, not only manifesting itself in the sphere of publicity.

National status as a religious often remains the same throughout life. The identity of a person is not a static but a dynamic education. First, the process of its final formation does not end at adolescence. External circumstances can push a person of any age to rethink the role of national and religious affiliation in his life, lead to their transformation. The transformation affects not only the circumstances of personal contact with "others" but also, more importantly, virtual factors - the media, Internet and literature.

Identity at every level - individual, nationality - can only be defined through its relation to "other". Today, the identity on the NC, which previously had been multiple and casual, focus and take root. With increasing common-conflict potential identity are re-evaluated, and it occurs exclusively in terms of "we" and "they." For example, interteyp conflicts are appropriately called "blood war"; ethnic - rallying the nation against another. Each side exaggerates and dramatizes the difference between the forces of good and evil and, ultimately, is trying to make this distinction in a fundamental distinction between "us" and "strangers", and mutual fear, distrust and hatred only fuel the potential for conflict.

Every ethnic and religiocener community tends to "rebuild from other nations and religions", i.e. capture the attention of "their" in contrast to the "other." This "offset" may relate to concepts such as:
- Unique in origin;
- The specific resources, including biological and spiritual;
- Specifics of the mission;
- A unique of historical path;
- Culture (practices, rituals), which itself is seen as valuable.

Specificity democratic reality of post-Soviet NC was the ubiquity conflict. Neighboring republics are into conflict with each other, different nationalities within the country are finding a lot of controversial issues, and all together an aggressive look at the Russian side. Such a mechanism exists in Central Asia and Transcaucasia . When the people of the society as a whole, there are some insurmountable difficulties, people unconsciously seek on whom to vent their. Since the 1990's and to this day Russian were such a "scapegoat" and not without reason, as they always were the main country-made people, with all the responsibilities (judge, warden, executioner, etc.). Therefore, the mechanism is due not only reserving foreignness of culture and religion, but also the danger of losing all their national identity.

For self-determination and motivation to independence people need enemies: the neighbors, or the Russian Center. For example, in the case of the rhetoric of self-determination Ichkeria instantly (3-5 years) penetrated all the mental space: the main argument of the leaders of the Chechen resistance to the language of ordinary Chechens. Interpretation of the Chechen crisis as a manifestation of the national liberation movement of the Chechen people and as an attempt to suppress the imperial forces was extremely popular with the pro-Western Russian and the vast majority of foreign experts.

Because of the historical development of the national ideology and national character among a significant number of Caucasian people a certain potential for conflict was formed. And with the beginning of the 90 influence of Russian culture was perceived as threatening, which together with a sense of exclusiveness gives this potential a destructive nature. All the time there are attacks against the authorities, and that is important - sometimes for the sake of attacks are attacks, not the prosecution selfish ends. In the basis of this behavior, there are certain beliefs, and so if Caucasians today learn these destructive beliefs and their actions in the future will be relevant.

If we talk about the process of escalation of the conflict with access to the state level (separation conflict), then, of course, cultural and religious identity is more important than other identities. Increasing the degree of difference between the grounds of cultural and ethnic Russian center margin predicts a long and energy-intensive confrontation. The dynamics of multiple identities will gradually disappear, and become the dominant identity, the most significant in the conflict for independence and separation from the center. Religion appears here as one of the most brutal factors. Psychologically, religion provides the most convincing and reasonable justification for the fight against infidels, who believed to carry the threat.

Today, Caucasians, resisting the Centre, are increasingly present themselves as champions of the cause of Islam, emphasizing their religious identity. Even in the wars of the nineteenth century between the peoples of the Russian Empire, and the NC Imam Shamil based on Islam and it had united dozens of ethnic and linguistic groups. Since the 1990s, began again religious regression has begun again. Russian and Caucasian leaders began openly to appear in churches and mosques. This could not affect the religious decorations of war conflicts: Chechen troops wore green headbands with the word "jihad" and sent to fight under the slogan "Allahu akbar", in the Russian troops clergy appeared, "sanctifying" military equipment and "blessing the soldiers on the charity case ".

And yet, we can say still that in Islam of the NC ethnic identity is more deeply rooted than a religious one. But before the faithful increasingly the dilemma is confronted: what to be - a Muslim or a representative of an ethnic group? This problem is most acute was announced and secured during the confrontation supporters of Salafism ("righteous caliphs of Islam era") and representatives of the traditional (local, ethnic) of Islam. Representatives of Salafism say that religious affiliation, especially belonging to dzhamaat groups above teyps, clan or national ties. Representatives of traditional Islam on the contrary preferred ethnic component, seeing in the ideology and practice of radical threat to the spiritual and cultural traditions, and spoke as mufti of Chechnya, the father of current President on this matter: "We are first the Chechens, and then the Muslims." Such arguments are common in a typical example of Russian political discourse "logic" based on self-identification. This political technology is accepted among the major instruments of "identity politics" in contemporary Russia.

The dominant Russian Orthodox Church even to its current official name is connected with the Russian ethnic group, demographers - as well as policies without thinking twice, spread this historically conditioned relationship to the rest of the population of Russia, using ethnicity as the nearest equivalent of confessional. Hence - the original concept of "ethnic Islam": about forty nationalities in Russia is one "traditionally Moslem."

The greatest value for separation of conflict represents has "cultural and territorial identity" - a historical and cultural identity that exists in the territorial boundaries outlined by the natural geographical and ethno-administrative or national borders. As can be seen from this definition - neither language nor religion are the pillars of the Caucasian community. The basis for the solidarity of the members of this community are just some area related to the peculiarities of individual biography of residents of the region: their life stories and love for their homeland, similar practices of search and acquisition of access to income, education, career, etc. A consequence of the cultural and territorial hiperidentity is regionalism. In fact, regionalism and nationalism are very similar and sometimes appear even once. It cannot install nor the solidarity of all Muslims of the NC, or even Islamic fundamentalists in a situation where a purely nationalist sentiments prevail in almost all republics, and in some of them even regionalism is stronger than nationalism.

Special conditions of life have formed a standardized daily practice and close (at the level of development of objects of everyday reality) experience for the Caucasian peoples. In the cultural and territorial identity combines aspects of space and the "strength" of identity, what makes an acceptable term "Caucasian patriotism." Our study of diasporas of Ossetians and Ingush in Krasnodar, shows convincingly that these are very conflicting and not close in their homeland ethnic groups, demonstrated in the Russian environment a pronounced tendency to lose their Caucasian identity and many narrow ethnic elements. And they both become the Caucasians.

The ethnic, linguistic, religious and political identities rarely coincide with the actual geographic boundaries of nation-states. Most often, conflicts within the NC flare up because of the usual reasons: control over territory and resources, as well as the relative power, there is scope to impose their own views. If the differences in material interests in the NC could be resolved through negotiation and compromise, it is impossible to do in matters relating to land (territory) apparent decisions purely on territorial issues are not easily in the fertile land disputes, because these places have always had deep historical and emotional significance for the Caucasian peoples.

For the Russian their ethnic identity has become an integral part of civic identity. To be a Russian it means to be Russian. Another important indicator of the distinctive "Russian-ness" Russian means Orthodox believe that in many cases not perceived as a religious belief of the majority, but rather as a socio-cultural tradition. Many of the Russian (as young people and old) call their ethnic festivals as Orthodox holidays, in which the discharge was relegated even the ancient pagan festival of Shrovetide.

The fact that the ethnic identity of Russian inhabitants of the republics of NC is minimal, says the fact that the local Russian position themselves as "Caucasians", especially in relation to a Russian, living in central Russia. This fact is more evident in the republic of North Ossetia-Alania (Russian share is 23.2%). The Ossetians are Orthodox people, so religion does not make function of marking the ethnic and with knowledge of the Ossetian language by Russian, Ossetian border can only emphasize the Russian name.
USA/UK 2007-2012  © FALCOGROUP