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This article deals with the linguistic aspect of self-defi nition crisis in modern society. Under the self-defi nition the author understands We-conception as a part of the collective consciousness. A national self-defi nition crisis refers to a situation when a nation loses its history, culture and traditions. That is considered as a direct threat not only to cultural existence, but also to homeland security.

The Russians see their country as a great empire. This is the dominant of the national selfdefi nition. In this article, the author pays a particular attention to this phenomenon. As a mental thing, imperial perception of Russia has a political base. That is why scientists and publicists fi nd this phenomenon interesting to analyze from different points of view. The opportunity to get objective data about abstract phenomenon leads to linguistic analysis. The author uses materials of psycholinguistic (association) experiments performed among Russian native speakers at different times. The results of these experiments reveal the forming stages of national selfconsciousness. The analysis helps to model the “image of yourself” as a part of Russian selfconsciousness. The object of the analysis is associative fi elds of word people. The choice of the stimulus word deals with the fi rm opposition people / state power in Russian society.

Correlation of the characteristics attributed to imperial consciousness with the language materials received as a result of pilot studies allows to conclude that “imperskost” isn’t a dominant sign of national self-identifi cation of Russians at the present stage. At the same time it is revealed that signs of imperial consciousness emerged at the previous (Soviet) stage of existence of multinational Russian society.


National self-defi nition, imperial perception of Russia, We-conception, linguistic world image, associative fi eld, self-consciousness dominant

Lyubov N. Churilina. Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University, Russia, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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