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Stratum plus. 2005-2009. №6

A. P. Gorbunenko (Kishinev, Moldova)

The Age-Specific Features of Ethnic Self-Consciousness of the Bulgarian Diaspora in Moldova

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Pages: 598-608

The problems of ethnicity as part of self-consciousness are among the most discussed in modern anthropological, ethno-psychological and sociological circles. This article is devoted to the age-specific features of Bulgarian ethnic identity and self-consciousness.
In May-June 2006 the State University of Taraclia carried out a survey of ethnic identity and the problems of interethnic communication among the representatives of Bulgarian Diaspora in Moldova. The main goal of the research was to identify the real state of ethnicity, ethnic identity and stereotypes of Bulgarians as one of the minorities. The sample was divided into two groups: the first one has included metropolitans characterized by the dynamic culture (mun. Chisinau); the second group has included the bearers of archaic culture (southern region of the Republic). There were 100 people questioned in Chisinau and in mono- and multiethnic localities in the south.
The analysis shows that the difference in the structure of ethnic self-consciousness is higher in cultural groups (dynamic and archaic parts of the Diaspora) than in age groups. Categorical consciousness of youth (the age group under 35 y.o.) is explained by their psychological infantilism and social-economic instability. At the same time, respondents over 55 y.o. are the most tolerant towards their own and other ethnicity.
The research found that ethnic identity is one of the most important points in personal/group identity structure of the representatives of Bulgarian Diaspora in Moldova. The civil identity is very low in the age group 35-55 y.o. Only respondents over 55 y.o. declare themselves first citizens and then representatives of their “ethnos”.  High significance of ethnic identity and discrepant self-consciousness at the same time confirm the fact that Bulgarians are in quest of themselves in a changeable social reality.
Heterogeneous milieu, especially for Bulgarian metropolitans, requires special communicative skills and at the same time has a strong influence on the character of interethnic communication.  Thus, Bulgarian young people in Chisinau are the most categorical in their relations with Moldovans (the majority ethnic group in the republic) and Gagauzes (the majority group in Gagauz autonomy). Social distance indexes and content of ethnic stereotypes don’t show traces of an ethnical conflict. Unfortunately, elements of common nationalism frequently persist among Bulgarians/Gagauzes in the South and Bulgarians/Moldovans in the capital of the Republic.

Keywords: Age-Specific Features, Ethnic Self-Consciousness, Bulgarian Diaspora

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