ETHNIC STEREOTYPES IN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION: THE UDMURTS’ STRATEGIES

Abstract


Based on the data of sociological research the article examines the influence of ethnic stereo-types on the choice of intercultural interaction strategies. The example of the Udmurt ethnos proves the importance of behavioral stereotypes as a program of interpersonal relations and a reference point in interac-tion with representatives of one’s own and other ethnic groups. The author identifies autostereotypes that reflect the emotional perception of ethnic identity and allow predicting further ways of ethnic development. Ethnic stereotypes of the Udmurts were determined by the influence of their cultural environment and adaptation to the social reality. The majority of Udmurts positively perceive their ethnic identity and recog-nize the uniqueness of ethnic culture and the need for positive interaction with other peoples, which explains the author’s cautious optimism when considering the future of the Udmurts. Their historical interaction with the cultural environment had various consequences: on the one hand, it explains the negative self-esteem of the ethnos including self-doubt; and uncertainty often leads to isolation and fear to show one’s cultural identity, and striving for social mimicry. Thus, the author considers the low social status of the Udmurts and their weak adaptive abilities as one of the key factors in strengthening the assimilation. On the other hand, the Udmurts opposition to the cultural domination of other ethnic groups makes them take an active stance and to seek ways to preserve their ethnic identity. Thus, the Udmurts of the Republic of Tatarstan should be as active as the ethnic majority of the region (the Tatars) in the search for new strategies of intercultural interaction and adaption to the social reality. The field ethnographic data allow the author to supplement statistical data with new facts, and help the readers to ‘hear’ the voices of the people and to ‘see’ their emotional perception of social and cultural realities.


I L Pozdeev

Principal contact for editorial correspondence.
pozdeev79@gmail.com
Udmurt Institute of History, Language and Literature Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences Lomonosova St., 4, Izhevsk, 426000, Russia

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