The article presents an analysis of the perception by Russian citizens of Slavic countries as a political and cultural frontier.
The theoretical and methodological basis of the study was the political and psychological approach. The authors have developed a conceptual research model based on the provisions of the theory of political perception. Image of the country is a multi-component mental construct, which includes a set of representations about the authorities, leaders, peoples, territories and geopolitical image of the states. The research methodology included a semi-standardized interview with Russian citizens, as well as a set of projective techniques.
Based on the analysis of empirical data, the authors determine the characteristics of the perception of Slavic countries. In terms of similarity between themselves, the closest are the images of Montenegro and Bulgaria, the least close are the images of the Czech Republic and Poland. The images of Ukraine and Belarus have an average degree of similarity. The closest images to the Russian respondents are the East Slavic countries; the West Slavic countries are most alienated. In the structure of the country's image, the most stable, symbolically filled and monolithic is the image of the people, which depends on the identification factor. The most dynamic and contradictory are the image of power and the geopolitical image of the state, which largely determines the information context. The perception of all Slavic countries is Russiancentric.
The authors draw conclusions about the influence of various factors on the perception of countries. The most significant of them are geopolitical and communicative factors. The influence of the factor of the Slavic historical and cultural community is situational and secondary.
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