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Emelyanova T. P., Misharina A. V. Differences in Generations’ Collective Memory: a Socio-Psychological Approach. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Educational Acmeology. Developmental Psychology, 2019, vol. 8, iss. 4, pp. 334-340. DOI:

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Differences in Generations’ Collective Memory: a Socio-Psychological Approach


The purpose of the study presented in the article is to investigate the collective memory features of four generations of Russians in relation to the current situation in the country. Presumably, the generations of baby-boomers, X, Y, and Z, differently assess Russian history periods and view them as possible models for the present, while socio-psychological characteristics of generations are associated with a certain modality of collective memory images. The article presents the results of a survey, which involved representatives of 4 generations (N = 407): baby boomers and generations X, Y, and Z. It is shown that the choice of exemplary periods for modern Russia history is very diverse and specific to generational cohorts (according to the Kruskal–Wallis H test (p = 0.01)). For the baby boomer generation respondents, the period of Peter the Great’s transformation is the closest to the exemplary period, while for generation X, it is the Brezhnev period and the Khrushchev’s thaw. Generation Y rates perestroika and the Stalin period higher, while generation Z rates the Russian Revolution, perestroika and Yeltsin period higher. We distinguished groups of respondents by the modality of their assessments of different periods in the Russian history: “Supporters of the European Path” – the most numerous group (52% of the entire sample), “Supporters of liberalization” (10.6%), “Adherents of totalitarianism” (9.3%), “Adherents of Political Transformation” (5.2%) and the “Undecided” (23%). Representatives of each of these groups have certain socio-psychological characteristics. The first group shows critical attitude towards the authorities, skepticism about serving people and society; the second one shows high indicators of social cynicism and low values of tolerance of uncertainty; the third one shows weak involvement in current developments, lack of faith in their own strengths and the desire to remain safe, as well as weak tolerance of uncertainty; the fourth group is characterized by more successful coping with stress, mental and somatic health, subjective well-being and success in activities. The revealed socio-psychological status of these groups may act as a predictor of their current political sympathies and a possible direction of social activity.

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