Life Val­ues Shape Coun­try’s Im­age

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - IN THE MIRROR OF PUBLIC OPINION - Rano Ubaidul­layeva, aca­demi­cian of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbek­istan, di­rec­tor of the Ij­ti­moiy Fikr Cen­ter for the Study of Pub­lic Opin­ion

The Ij­ti­moiy Fikr Cen­ter for the Study of Pub­lic Opin­ion con­ducts sys­tem­atic so­ci­o­log­i­cal sur­veys in or­der to study the spir­i­tual and moral val­ues and at­ti­tudes of ci­ti­zens of Uzbek­istan to the de­vel­op­ments in the so­cial, eco­nomic, le­gal and po­lit­i­cal life of so­ci­ety.

The re­sults of the re­search al­low us to more fully and deeply com­pre­hend the pro­cesses tak­ing place in our so­ci­ety, to shape ef­fec­tive ap­proaches to the ex­am­i­na­tion of the ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sions taken in the as­pect of their im­pact on the state and changes in so­ci­ety. The in­for­ma­tion re­ceived can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on the work of govern­ment au­thor­i­ties and ad­min­is­tra­tion, mass me­dia, pub­lic as­so­ci­a­tions on the for­ma­tion of the im­age of Uzbek­istan in the in­ter­na­tional arena.

Opin­ion polls show that in Uzbek­istan, the value ori­en­ta­tions of ci­ti­zens are be­ing trans­formed un­der the in­flu­ence of var­i­ous fac­tors re­lated to the dy­namic de­vel­op­ment of so­cio-po­lit­i­cal and so­cio-eco­nomic re­la­tions and the pro­cesses of glob­al­iza­tion in gen­eral. The strong value foun­da­tion in­her­ent in the ci­ti­zens of the coun­try is not only the ba­sis of po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity, but also the foun­da­tion for the pos­i­tive state and so­cial well-be­ing of the pop­u­la­tion.

The Uzbek so­ci­ety, as sur­veys show, re­mains fo­cused on tra­di­tional val­ues such as fam­ily, char­ity, tol­er­ance and peace, sol­i­dar­ity of gen­er­a­tions and re­spect for el­ders, gen­eros­ity and hos­pi­tal­ity, dili­gence. It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that a so­ci­ety that is sta­ble in its val­ues is not a static so­ci­ety. In the course of so­ci­o­log­i­cal re­search, Uzbeks demon­strate a great de­sire for dy­namic so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. The ob­tained data in­di­cate that a new moral and eth­i­cal at­mos­phere is de­vel­op­ing in the coun­try, val­ues re­flect­ing the de­sire of the pop­u­la­tion, and es­pe­cially young peo­ple, to suc­cess, ma­te­rial well-be­ing, ca­reer growth, spir­i­tual and moral per­fec­tion are grad­u­ally as­serted in the pub­lic con­scious­ness.

Opin­ion polls re­vealed the dom­i­nance of civic iden­tity among the pop­u­la­tion – al­most 70% of the pop­u­la­tion con­sider them­selves “pri­mar­ily ci­ti­zens of Uzbek­istan”.

An es­sen­tial role in the process of self-de­ter­mi­na­tion and the for­ma­tion of one’s iden­tity is played by the com­mit­ment of ci­ti­zens to a par­tic­u­lar way of life, which is usu­ally in­ter­preted as ori­ented ei­ther to Western or Euro­pean val­ues, or to tra­di­tional ones as­so­ci­ated with the ob­ser­vance of na­tional tra­di­tions and folk cus­toms. The re­sults of the re­search showed that the ma­jor­ity of ci­ti­zens pre­fer the tra­di­tional way of life, based on na­tional cus­toms and tra­di­tions.

At the same time, the res­i­dents of the repub­lic are ex­pect­ing that their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren in the fu­ture also re­pro­duce a way of life as­so­ci­ated with na­tional cul­tural val­ues. Cul­tural-his­tor­i­cal be­long­ing, tra­di­tions, a kind of “spir­i­tual con­ser­vatism” are im­por­tant con­sol­i­dat­ing fac­tors for Uzbek peo­ple. Mean­while, al­most ev­ery tenth young man and woman prefers to lead a mod­ern life­style based on Western val­ues.

One of the most im­por­tant val­ues for Uzbek peo­ple is a happy and bliss­ful life, the birth and up­bring­ing of chil­dren, ser­vice to the fa­ther­land, cre­ative and pro­fes­sional self-re­al­iza­tion.

In the course of the sur­vey, the re­spon­dents were asked: “Un­der what con­di­tions would you be able to rec­og­nize your life as suc­cess­ful?” The ma­jor­ity (76.3%) an­swered that the main con­di­tions for a suc­cess­ful life re­al­iza­tion are the cre­ation of a fam­ily, the birth of chil­dren.

In Uzbek­istan, the fam­ily is pro­tected by so­ci­ety and the state, its all-round sup­port is be­ing pro­vided, the in­sti­tu­tional and le­gal frame­work for strength­en­ing fam­ily and mar­riage is be­ing im­proved, the de­mo­graphic de­vel­op­ment and wel­fare of ci­ti­zens are be­ing strength­ened, the ed­u­ca­tional and en­light­en­ing po­ten­tial of the fam­ily is strength­ened, the tra­di­tional fam­ily val­ues are pre­served in the so­ci­ety, so is moral at­mos­phere in fam­i­lies.

The con­ducted pub­lic opin­ion polls showed that the fam­ily and chil­dren, their up­bring­ing and spir­i­tual and moral de­vel­op­ment, sta­bly re­main the most sig­nif­i­cant val­ues in Uzbek so­ci­ety. Most ci­ti­zens of the coun­try be­lieve that the re­spon­si­bil­ity for rais­ing chil­dren and their suc­cess­ful growth is borne by the fam­ily, and their up­bring­ing is an im­por­tant parental duty.

For res­i­dents of the repub­lic, one of the main val­ues is ed­u­ca­tion, and they are ea­ger to give their chil­dren a good ed­u­ca­tion. The so­ci­ety has in­creased un­der­stand­ing that the suc­cess of the fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion of the younger gen­er­a­tion de­pends on the com­pre­hen­sive ed­u­ca­tion and nur­tur­ing of chil­dren in preschool age, since it is at this age that the pre­req­ui­sites for the suc­cess­ful ed­u­ca­tion of chil­dren in school and the fur­ther so­cial­iza­tion of the younger gen­er­a­tion in the fu­ture life are cre­ated.

Get­ting higher ed­u­ca­tion, a suc­cess­ful ca­reer, a high so­cial sta­tus in so­ci­ety – these im­por­tant life mean­ings also re­main rel­e­vant for many Uzbeks, es­pe­cially for young peo­ple.

In the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of ci­ti­zens of the coun­try, the most sig­nif­i­cant per­sonal qual­i­ties are hos­pi­tal­ity, gen­eros­ity and dili­gence. This is sup­ported by 37% of the coun­try’s in­hab­i­tants. In the opin­ion of 28.9% of ci­ti­zens, they are dis­tin­guished by pa­tri­o­tism, love and de­vo­tion to the Mother­land, as­pi­ra­tion to con­trib­ute to its de­vel­op­ment and well-be­ing. Among the most sig­nif­i­cant per­sonal qual­i­ties char­ac­ter­iz­ing the Uzbek peo­ple were a care­ful at­ti­tude to fam­ily val­ues and na­tional tra­di­tions (24.9%), kind­ness (28.2%), up­bring­ing and re­spect for el­ders (18%), peace­ful­ness (17.2%) .

At the same time, many re­spon­dents (78.4%) be­lieve that there are con­tra­dic­tory changes in the sys­tem of pri­or­ity val­ues and at­ti­tudes. In their view, the com­plex pro­cesses tak­ing place in mod­ern so­ci­ety, a sharp in­crease in the vol­ume and im­por­tance of in­for­ma­tion flows have a se­ri­ous im­pact on the for­ma­tion of a cer­tain pic­ture of the world and the trans­for­ma­tion of tra­di­tional norms and val­ues of man, es­pe­cially in the youth en­vi­ron­ment. As sur­veys showed, ev­ery third re­spon­dent be­lieves that in the world­view of mod­ern Uzbeks, prag­matic val­ues di­rected solely at the goal of per­sonal pros­per­ity are in­creas­ingly be­gin­ning to pre­vail over spir­i­tual val­ues. This phenomenon is es­pe­cially char­ac­ter­is­tic of the younger gen­er­a­tion.

Par­tic­i­pants in the sur­vey be­lieve that the most neg­a­tive as­pects of mod­ern youth are the strength­en­ing of prag­matic mo­tives in cul­tural and moral at­ti­tudes (17.8%), so­cial ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity as­so­ci­ated with the un­will­ing­ness to grow up (17.4%), tol­er­ance for vi­o­la­tion of moral­ity (14.1%). How­ever, in pub­lic opin­ion, Uzbek ci­ti­zens re­al­ize that a re­li­able way to re­sist neg­a­tive phe­nom­ena is their own spir­i­tual im­mu­nity of per­son­al­ity. That is why, ci­ti­zens con­sider it nec­es­sary to ed­u­cate their chil­dren with moral, loyal to their fam­i­lies and the Mother­land, peo­ple, to in­cul­cate in them such qual­i­ties as striv­ing for ed­u­ca­tion, love of work, ef­fi­ciency and en­ter­pris­ing, good breed­ing and good­will, re­spect for folk tra­di­tions, his­tory and cul­ture.

In Uzbek­istan, one of the most im­por­tant tasks of state pol­icy is the preser­va­tion for the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of rich his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural her­itage, cus­toms and tra­di­tions of the peo­ple, the restora­tion of the spir­i­tual and re­li­gious foun­da­tions of Uzbek so­ci­ety, the re­vival of hu­man­is­tic Is­lamic cul­tural val­ues. Fa­vor­able con­di­tions have been cre­ated for in­creas­ing na­tional and re­li­gious self-aware­ness, free­dom and na­tional pride. Along with the re­vival of spir­i­tual and re­li­gious val­ues, re­li­gious rights and free­doms of ci­ti­zens in the sys­tem of a demo­cratic state and civil so­ci­ety are en­sured.

Pub­lic opin­ion polls clearly demon­strate the trans­for­ma­tion of the at­ti­tude of ci­ti­zens to­wards re­li­gion, tra­di­tions and cus­toms, ex­pressed in in­creas­ing the num­ber of vis­it­ing holy places, celebrating re­li­gious and pub­lic hol­i­days, con­duct­ing tra­di­tional na­tional rites in their fam­i­lies. Ac­cord­ing to the polls, for 87.6% of the coun­try’s in­hab­i­tants, peo­ple’s and re­li­gious tra­di­tions, rit­u­als and cus­toms are of great im­por­tance, they con­trib­ute to the de­vel­op­ment of so­ci­ety and the state, en­rich the spir­i­tual life of ev­ery cit­i­zen. It is noted that the older the cit­i­zen, the more care­fully he treats the ob­ser­vance and ex­e­cu­tion of rit­u­als and cus­toms, ad­her­ence to tra­di­tions goes to the fore­front for many.

Re­spon­dents of the older age group in the sur­vey ex­pressed the opin­ion that young peo­ple should be ed­u­cated in the spirit of re­spect for rep­re­sen­ta­tives of other re­li­gions and eth­nic­i­ties, to ed­u­cate and show the true spir­i­tual and moral essence of Is­lam, its na­ture and tol­er­ance, to use hu­man­is­tic Is­lamic val­ues in moral up­bring­ing of the younger gen­er­a­tion, pro­tect them from re­li­gious ex­trem­ism and nar­row­mind­ed­ness.

One of the ba­sic val­ues of life for Uzbeks is work. Ev­ery fourth re­spon­dent be­lieves that “work for a per­son is the main sign of life while a per­son is work­ing – he is alive”. In la­bor, the in­hab­i­tants of the coun­try see a means of cre­ative self­ex­pres­sion and self-af­fir­ma­tion in so­ci­ety, the pos­si­bil­ity of achiev­ing a higher so­cial sta­tus, as well as the op­por­tu­nity to ben­e­fit peo­ple and so­ci­ety.

When choos­ing a job, 44.7% of ci­ti­zens pay paramount im­por­tance to the pos­si­bil­ity of re­ceiv­ing a high salary, 43.4% con­sider the pri­or­ity to be to ben­e­fit for peo­ple, to be use­ful to them, 34.6% be­lieve that work should be, first of all, cre­ative and in­ter­est­ing.

In the age seg­ment, the range of opin­ions on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of la­bor that are of vi­tal im­por­tance is chang­ing quite sig­nif­i­cantly. Thus, 50.2% of the re­spon­dents aged 3039 give pref­er­ence to a high salary. They most of­ten, in com­par­i­son with other re­spon­dents, strive for pres­ti­gious work that pro­vides a high so­cial sta­tus. Cre­ative work, even if it is not paid well, but ben­e­fits peo­ple, is con­sid­ered by the most im­por­tant half of young re­spon­dents aged 1819 years, and one in three of them prefers a healthy cli­mate in the work­force.

So­ci­o­log­i­cal stud­ies show that pol­i­tics in the hi­er­ar­chi­cal struc­ture of val­ues of Uzbek peo­ple oc­cu­pies an im­por­tant place, they are wor­ried not only by ev­ery­day wor­ries and prob­lems, they show an ac­tive in­ter­est in po­lit­i­cal pro­cesses and events. This is nat­u­ral, and is ex­plained by ac­tive mod­ern­iza­tion and pro­found re­forms in var­i­ous sec­tors of the life of the state and so­ci­ety im­ple­mented within the frame­work of the Strat­egy of Ac­tions. Ci­ti­zens fully sup­port the pos­i­tive changes tak­ing place in the coun­try and seek to pro­mote them.

As the polls sug­gested, the ma­jor­ity of Uzbek peo­ple (76.4%) con­sider them­selves sup­port­ers of a demo­cratic, rule-oflaw state. This in­di­ca­tor has been sta­ble over the past few years.

The most demo­cratic val­ues are in­her­ent in re­spon­dents who have a high level of ed­u­ca­tion. The per­cent­age of sup­port­ers of a demo­cratic, rule-of-law state is higher among ci­ti­zens aged 21-40.

The re­sults of the re­search con­vinc­ingly tes­tify to the grow­ing so­cial ac­tiv­ity and civic con­scious­ness, the mount­ing in­volve­ment of ci­ti­zens in the pro­cesses tak­ing place in the coun­try. Ad­dress­ing the ques­tion “Does a per­son bear moral re­spon­si­bil­ity for his coun­try and the so­lu­tion of its prob­lems?” the ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity of ci­ti­zens (88.4%) an­swered pos­i­tively.

The sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity for their coun­try is typ­i­cal for the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents of the re­gions of the repub­lic, men and women, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of var­i­ous so­cial strata. In the age as­pect, this feel­ing in­creases in pro­por­tion to age: the older the ci­ti­zens, the more re­spon­si­bil­ity they feel for the fate of their coun­try, for its fu­ture, for the coun­try where their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren will live.

In gen­eral, as the long ex­pe­ri­ence of study­ing the vi­tal val­ues of Uzbek peo­ple shows, they de­ter­mine the be­hav­ior of ci­ti­zens, the choice of the path of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and the form of govern­ment. It should be noted that val­ues are chang­ing very slowly; this process can take sev­eral gen­er­a­tions.

Uzbek­istan’s ci­ti­zens feel proud for their coun­try, for a rich his­tor­i­cal and cul­tural her­itage, for na­tional tra­di­tions and spir­i­tual and moral val­ues care­fully pre­served by the peo­ple and passed from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. The paramount task of ev­ery cit­i­zen is to pre­serve and trans­fer to the younger gen­er­a­tion the high­est val­ues of na­tional cul­ture – kind­ness, mercy, tol­er­ance, re­spect for el­ders and preser­va­tion of fam­ily val­ues, gen­eros­ity and dili­gence.

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