Political symbol in formation of schoolchildren’s national identity (through the example of the symbol “Motherland”)

Volume 4, Number 3, 2019, P. 272–278


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The article analyzes the inclusion of political symbols in the formation of schoolchildren’s national identity through the example of the symbol “Motherland”. The empirical materials were 68 school textbooks recommended by the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation for secondary and high schools on such subjects as social studies, Russian history, Russian language, literature. The author has come to the following conclusion: the symbol “Motherland” as a political symbol comprising information on the country, its geographical, national and cultural characteristics is used in constructing the national identity of schoolchildren. The analysis has shown that there are three components that can be distinguished in the symbol. The first one is the cognitive component that consists of such elements as the territory of the country and the people inhabiting it. The country is described as huge, geographically and culturally diverse. The people inhabiting the country are described through the image of mother, famous personalities and as a united multinational people. The second component is the affective one, namely the emotions and feelings that textbooks authors seek to form in schoolchildren. The main feelings, according to the authors of the textbooks, are love of the motherland and a sense of duty. Besides the mentioned, we can also highlight the feeling of nostalgia when being away from motherland, pride in it, respect, responsibility, etc. The third component is a behavioral one revealed in actions in peace- and wartime. The authors of the textbooks indicate that in peacetime, a person must work for the good of the motherland and take care of it. In wartime, a person must defend his/her homeland from enemies selflessly, fight for its liberation.


political symbol, national identity, symbol “motherland”


Yulia M. Karusheva, a grant contractor, Saint Petersburg State University, Petersburg, Russia; a project manager, Russian public opinion research center (WCIOM), Moscow, Russia


The publication has been prepared with a support of the Grant RNF № 18-18-00233 “Cinema images of the Soviet and American enemies in the symbolic politics of Cold War: comparative analysis”.

For citation:

Karusheva Yu.M. ( 2019) Political symbol in formation of schoolchildren’s national identity (through the example of the symbol “Motherland”). Social Competence. Vol. 4. No. 3. P. 272–278. (In Russ.)


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