SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC DEVELOPMENT TRENDS IN KAZAKHSTAN SOCIETY
(BASED ON PUBLIC OPINION POLLS)
Serik Beysembaev, Sociologist at the Strategy Center for Social and Political Research Public Fund (Almaty, Kazakhstan)
Identifying young people as a separate social group has been practiced since the differences in outlook between the younger and older generations was first noticed. The generation gap, which has existed since the dawn of civilization, has become a target of study for thinkers and scientists; entire fields of research have appeared in philosophy, sociology, and psychology devoted to relations between the generations, whereby particular attention is focused on behavioral traits, as well as on how values are formed among young people as a whole, as well as in their individual groups.
Today, there is a wealth of scientific information that allows drawing up a universal portrait of young people as a specific socio-demographic segment of society. The numerous studies show that, along with certain general characteristics (biological and psychological), young people living in different countries of the world differ from each other in many parameters (both external and internal). Despite the growing globalization, it is the local sociocultural environment that continues to have the greatest influence on the younger generation.
Demographers customarily classify people between the ages of 15 and 30 as young; however, the social sciences do not stipulate any precise social or age limits to define the concept “young people.” Usually the question of who to classify as young is determined in each specific case based on the scientific and applied tasks at hand.
Surveys on youth problems are not carried out very often in the Republic of Kazakhstan (RK), and the information available to the broad public is mainly journalistic (or synoptic) in nature and usually extremely superficial. So it can be said that there is essentially no serious research (including academic dissertations) in the republic aimed at studying young people. There is also a dearth of specialists on youth affairs. However, an increased interest is currently being shown in young people as a social phenomenon in Kazakhstan society. This is primarily due to the fact that a new generation, which has grown up in essentially very different conditions, is emerging to replace the old.
If we keep in mind that a person’s conscious socialization begins at the age of 7-8, more than 25% of Kazakhstan’s population today can be called “children” of the post-Soviet times. This is why it is particularly important to gain a clear idea of what young people today are like, what qualities they possess, and………….