Structure of Social Representations of Higher Education in Students with Different Intragroup Status

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Abstract


The current article represents the results of the study of the students’ social representations of higher education analyzing their (social representations) structure and content. The total sample size is 358 Moscow secondary school and undergraduate students (average age ~ 18.3). The aim of the research is to identify the structure and content of the students’ social representations of higher education, taking into account their intragroup position in the study group. We used the method of free associations (by P. Verges) to reveal the structure of social representations and a complex of socio-psychological methods (methodological procedure for definition of informal intragroup power structure in the contact community, sociometry, referentometry) to determine the students’ integral intragroup status. The obtained associations were subjected to prototypic (rank-frequency) analysis. The results of the research show that the cores of the social representations of higher education of the students of different intragroup status categories differ according to the number of elements and their content characteristics. It was revealed that the social representations of the undergraduate students of different status categories seemed to be more consistent in comparison to secondary school students due to the smaller “distance” to higher education as an “object”. We also revealed the differences in the significance and emotional rating of representations core elements depending on the student status categories.


About the authors

Marianna E. Sachkova

Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration

Author for correspondence.
Email: msachkova@mail.ru
SPIN-code: 3217-0087
7 Vernadskogo Ave., Moscow, 119571, Russian Federation

Doctor of Psychology, Professor, is Professor of the Department of General Psychology, Institute of Social Sciences

Galina K. Esina

Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

Email: e.g.k@list.ru
SPIN-code: 1895-2995
29 Sretenka St., Moscow, 127051, Russian Federation

lecturer of the Department of Ethnopsychology and Psychological Problems of Multicultural Education

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