Types of Identification and Intergroup Differentiation in the Russian Federation


*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Anca Minescu, ERCOMER, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80140, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands [e-mail: A.Minescu@uu.nl].


The fall of the Soviet Union affected the established identity patterns and intergroup relations in the Russian Federation. A survey investigates the effect of Russians' and titulars' identifications with their ethnic group, their republic, and the Russian Federation on intergroup stereotypes. We hypothesized that identification at various inclusiveness levels is differently reflected in the positive/negative stereotypes about in-group and out-groups. While in-group stereotypes would be positively affected by all types of identification, out-group stereotypes would turn more negative by ethnic identification and more positive by republican and federal identification. Further, we expected that republican identification would improve titulars' in-group stereotypes and Russians' out-group stereotypes, while federal identification would enhance Russians' in-group stereotypes and titular's out-group stereotypes. Russians favored their in-group mostly in positive terms. Titular minorities favored their in-group mostly on negative stereotypes. A model of intergroup differentiation is proposed that takes into account social identification at different inclusiveness levels. This model makes clear the potential threat posed by republican identifications to the stability of intergroup relations in Russia.