Psychological factors of ethnic extremism in Muslim youth

The aim of the research was to reveal the correlations between the extreme forms of ethnic identity and some personal traits involved in intercultural communication. Also the task of the research was to analyze cultural specificity in ethnic extremism manifestations at Muslim youth.420 young people from 6 regions of the world (Russia, China, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia) took part in the research; among them 81 people from the Middle East countries and 60 – from the former soviet Central Asian countries. 14 psychodiagnostic techniques were used to measure various personal features associated with cross-cultural communication. The technique “Types of ethnic identity” (G.U.Soldatova, S.V.Ryzhova) was applied for diagnosing the types of identity with different degrees of ethnic tolerance that were marked on a wide range of ethnocentrism scale. We used statistical techniques: Kruskall Wallis test, Multiple range tests, multifactorial dispersive analysis, Spearman's rank correlation coefficient. The comparative analysis of young people, who responded high scores in extreme form of ethnic identity (ethnic bigotry or fanaticism) (147) and those who showed low levels of ethnic bigotry (134), revealed that persons inclined to ethnic bigotry were less tolerant not only for other ethnic group, but to any manifestations of individuality and to other social groups: they were more egocentric, not able to adjust themselves to different situations and people. They couldn’t control their negative emotions and were less able to recognize the other’s emotions by facial expression (especially fear, disgust and contempt). Also they were not sure in the world controllability; are less flexible in their activity control. Correlation analysis on general sample showed that ethnic bigotry inversely correlated with the life purposes awareness, internal locus of control, positive self – image, social and emotional intelligence, flexibility in the activity regulation. Positive correlation of ethnic extremis with disbelieve in the world controllability, egocentrism and apartness in interpersonal relations were revealed. Correlation analysis in Arab and Central Asian two subsamples showed some specific relations of ethnic bigotry and personal features. So, we can conclude that generally ethnic extremism correlates with rather controversial and conflict styles of self-realization and communication. Young people with extreme attitude toward other nations clearly realize their life goals, but they don’t believe in their approachability and don’t have enough abilities to interact with other people feeling the apartness in their personal interaction. The styles of interethnic communication of young representatives of different Muslim nations have some common features with the representatives of other nations, and have some specific features as well. Arab youth ethnic extremism correlates mostly with social stereotypes and hostility to other social groups, and Central Asian youth extremism correlates with intolerance to the other people individuality manifestation. Personal resources for the ethnic extremism reduction could be - for Arab people - their self - control in emotions and activity; and for the Central Asian people - concentration on their life goals. The research was supported by the Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation, project № 13-06-00673. © 2014 MCSER-Mediterranean Center of Social and Educational Research.

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  • 1 Peoples Friendship University of Russia, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Ethnic bigotry; Ethnic extremism; Ethnic identity; Ethnic tolerance; Ethnocentrism; Fanaticism; Intercultural communication
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