Ukrainians: Right-Left

The Razumkov Centre has recently conducted a broad sociological study to identify the characteristics of self-identification of Ukrainian citizens and their values. We found out an interesting peculiarity: political rightism in Ukraine is correlated with positive ethnic stereotypes regarding Ukrainians, while political leftism – with negative ones.

This information is in accord with the vision of "leftists" as the pro-Russian force. And this is one of the main reasons which accounts for very few votes given to leftist projects in elections.

We can state that leftist ideas, at least in the form they are represented in Ukraine, entail certain distancing from the Ukrainian identity. Although, in the early 20th century, the situation was quite the opposite – back then the idea of Ukraine’s independence was shaped and supported primarily by left-wing political parties and in the framework of leftist political discourse. Possibly, the problem now is that leftist political ideas are perceived by the public (our citizens included) as such that are connected with the ideas of Soviet Union revival or unification with Russia.

Similarly, "leftism" is more characteristic of the people from older generations, than younger ones.

Values and identity differences of representatives of the older and younger generations demonstrate that the consciousness of the older generation was largely shaped under the influence of Soviet social reality and ideology, while the consciousness of the younger generation is more in sync with today’s reality. Young people rarely identify themselves as former Soviet Union citizens (in the youngest age group – only 8%), while among those over 60 y.o., there are 46% of such respondents.

The identity of young people is characterised by a higher level of patriotism, on the one hand, and on the other – younger respondents express intolerance to emigrants, people of other religious denomination, languages less often. The importance of democracy for the younger and middle age groups’ representatives is higher compared to the older groups. The younger the respondents, the more often they support the statement on the importance of competition.

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Mykhailo Mischenko

Deputy Director, Sociological Service


Born in 1962 in Kyiv.

Education: Taras Shevchenko Kyiv State University, Faculty of Philosophy (1984). Ph. D in Philosophy.

Empoyment:

In 1984–1990, worked for the Sociology Department at the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

1990–1998 — Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

1998–2003 — Ukrainian Institute of Social Research.

February – September 2003 — Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

Since October 2003 — Deputy Director, Razumkov Centre Sociological Service.

(044) 201-11-94

mishchenko@razumkov.org.ua