When being in aprocess if self- identification, there is a need for a cognitive component (asense of the awareness of the membership), an evaluative component (membershipis related to some value connotations) and an emotional investment in theawareness and evaluations; there must be an in-group (that one identifies with)and an out-group (that one differentiates with) (Tajfel, 1982).
Thisclassification is never neutral, humans are not disinterested classifiers;there must be some benefit of the group membership (social, economic, politicalor emotional) (Jenkins, 2008).“Identifyingourselves, or others, is a matter of meaning, and meaning always involvesinteraction: agreement and disagreement, convention and innovation,communication and negotiation” (Jenkins, 2008, p17).Even if usually groupmembership is exclusive, individual self- identification might be inclusive ina social interaction sense (Jenkins, 2008); for instance, if there are twonations and two members of each nation, in a group membership level, they are exclusive,but it does not mean that they could not develop a social interaction.
Self-images and groupidentifications also changes through the time; the time and space stronglydetermine the group identity (Jenkins, 1994).Group and individualself- identification does not automatically determine the behaviour of theindividual; individual behaviour is multi- dimensional and constantly evolving combinationof planning, improvisation and habit, influenced by emotional responses, healthand well-being, access to resources, knowledge and world-view, the impact ofthe behaviour of others, and other factors, too. Group membership and identityare likely to have some part to play, but they cannot be said to determineanything.” (Jenkins, 2008, p8- 9). However, these definitions and ideas of “us”and “others” might influence such decisions as choosing. a spouse or they mayhave a little effect on hiring places or the choice of hobbies (Loveman, 1999).Also, the belief in the difference between the groups might cause several kindsof inequality (Epstein, 1992).Since persons individual identity is a complex unit,his or her group identities also are complex.
This also applies to the groupidentity- it could be complexed and defined differently by different groupmembers. People tend to be surrounded by similar people, with whom theyidentify themselves (Brewer, Gonsalkorale& van Dommelen, 2012).Social structure and environment is a complex unit asa whole, thus, people tend to localize themselves in a smaller and so to say-simpler units. By finding these smaller groups, with whom there is a perceptionof a relatively high similarity, comparatively homogenous groups and identitiesare created. Social environments with a high ethnic or religious diversity, hashigher chances to develop several smaller in- groups, expecially among those,who are not very keen on the multiculturalism (Brewer, Gonsalkorale& vanDommelen, 2012).Self- identification process is never complete in anever- changing social environment. Furthermore, even if one self- identifieshimself with a certain group (internal definition) he might be identifieddifferently by others (external definition).
Also, definition and recognitionby others (external definition) might have a strong impact on the internaldefinition too; these definitions might be in conflict, might not besignificant or they also might complement each other (Jenkins, 1994).Collective identification appears, when individuals see similarities withothers and they have common needs or interests. When creating or recognizingboundaries, individuals realize who they are and who they are not. It is also alearning process of self and group identities. On some occasions people mightrecognize themselves when categorized by others (Jenkins, 2008).The importance of the group membership might be different for differentindividuals, for instance, ethnic group membership might be very important forsome, while some might be ignorant to such a category and would not participatein collective activities of this group (Jenkins, 2008).
Collective identitiesare likely to change their form in historical transitions, when identitiesmight change, and some identity differences might become more evident whilesome- non- existent (Wagner- Pacifici, 2010).The clearer the stereotypes are, the more consistent ethnic identity is;the easier it is to attach and define. (Mitchell, 1974).
According to some, ethnies are constructed by rationalactors, who might claim to be a part of the group to gain some goods; othersclaim that ethnicity is a genetic transparent status of a person (Gil- White,1999).Boundary blurring reduces the importance of therespective group, for instance, ethnic group boundaries are blurring within thenation and thus, they are losing the importance as a social category (Wimmer,2008). The most stable boundaries are among those, who identify individualsthrough multigenerational, unilineal descent lines; most unstable boundariesare those defined by behavioural rather than genealogical membership criteria (Gil- White, 1999).2.
1.2. Sense of belonging inthe nation- stateSense of belonging to a cultural group or a nationstate is different. National group identity usually includes a specificterritory boundary as well; there is a difference between the practicalattachment and emotional attachment to the place (Kearns& Forrest, 2000).The sense and attachment can be local, national, regional or global, butbecause of the heritage character national attachment tend to be more valuablethan others (Harvey, 2015). Space is so important because it is usuallyconnected to the interactions, it is multi- dimensional and ever changing- itis never finished (Harvey, 2015).
Modern- massmedia makes regional or national representation ubiquitous and insert thepublic into private. It is a great sociological interest in events that arelinked with other events socially and politically. By studying certain kind ofboundaries, we as sociologists can determine factors that make individualsinterpret and reinterpret their actions regarding their self- identification (Wagner-Pacifici, 2010). 3. Research designQualitative research study is the mostappropriate for the questions that are related to meaning making, practices,groups, lifestyles and similar (Fick, 2009; DiCicco- Bloom& Crabtree, 2006,).It was found as the approach to the respective research questions and aims.
Usually, qualitative studies aim to describe how something develops or changes(Flick, 2009); this study aims to describe Latvian- Russian millennialcollective identity and how it is framed. More specifically, whether there issuch a group identity and is it conscious. Qualitative study also aims toclarify, interpret and to certain degree explain the phenomena (Heyink&Tymstra, 1993); this study aims to clarify the factors that are present in theLatvian- Russian collective identity construction. The greater study interestis in how the respondents’ explain and interpret their self- identificationthrough their experiences, which is also suitable for a qualitative researchapproach (Heyink& Tymstra, 1993; Qu& Dumay, 2011).