Psycholinguistic Analysis of the Associations of the Concepts “Man” and “Woman” Typical of the Siberian Turkic Peoples

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This study examines the associations of the concepts “Man” and “Woman” typical of the Turkic peoples of Siberia, i.e. Altaians, Tuvans, Khakas, and Yakuts. The objective of the study was to identify the semantic fields of stimuli associated with these concepts determined by the ethnocultural context. The study tested the hypothesis that the core of the associative fields of these concepts, in a meaningful sense, will have more similarities than differences among the Turkic ethnic groups mentioned above. The study involved 487 representatives of the Siberian Turkic peoples, namely 80 Altaians, 157 Tuvans, 126 Khakas, and 124 Yakuts, including 230 men and 257 women aged 18-65, of whom 145 were with a secondary general education, 73 were technical school graduates and 269 had an academic degree. The main research method was a survey with elements of an associative experiment. A total of 1844 associations were revealed, including 914 for the stimulus “man” and 930 for the stimulus “woman”. During the content analysis, all the answers were divided into six categories, which included subcategories and various indicators, i.e. ‘Physical characteristics’, ‘Status-role characteristics’, ‘Man’, ‘Subject, nature, abstraction, image’, ‘Personal qualities’, and ‘Behavioural characteristics’. By the number of references in the images “man” and “woman”, the first three ranks belong to ‘Status-role characteristics’, ‘Personal qualities’ and ‘Physical characteristics’. As for the core of the associative fields of the concept “man”, the respondents included the following indicators in it: ‘strong’, ‘defender’, ‘can stand up for his family’, ‘can defend the rights of his family’, ‘supporter of the family’, ‘shoulder’, ‘adviser’, ‘provider’, ‘breadwinner’, ‘father’, ‘dad’, ‘parent’, ‘master of the house’, ‘courageous’; and specifically: ‘smart’ (Tuvans and Khakas); ‘brave’, ‘fearless’, ‘bold’, ‘valiant’ (Tuvans and Yakuts); ‘stands by his word’ (Altaians); ‘strong-willed’ (Yakuts). The core of the associative fields of the concept “woman” included such indicators as: ‘beautiful’, ‘striking’, ‘well-groomed’, ‘attractive’, ‘nice’, ‘sweet’, ‘mom’, ‘mistress of the house’, ‘guardian of the hearth’, ‘feminine’, ‘soft’, ‘tender’, ‘kind’, ‘affectionate’, ‘kind-hearted’, ‘generous’, ‘helpful’, ‘sincere’, ‘smart’, ‘wife’, ‘caring’. The results of the study can be used for developing concepts and programmes of gender and family policy of the state as well as find application in the work of services of social and psychological assistance to families in the national regions of the Russian Federation.

About the authors

Aida I. Egorova

North-Eastern Federal University

Author for correspondence.

Ph.D. in Psychology, is Director of Institute of Psychology

58 Belinsky St., Yakutsk, 677000, Russian Federation


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