Ethnocultural Identity of the Mari People in the Virtual World


Recent experience has demonstrated that the development prospects of ethnocultures have been decreasing without a proper transformative leap forward in the digitalization of ethnocultural space; ethnocultural identity tends to get lost against the backdrop of mainstream culture that has taken place in the virtual environment. This work attempts to define the degree of integration of the Mari culture into the Internet and the influence of its integration on Mari identity. A systems analysis was used to examine the ethnocultural space of Mari on the Internet. This method promoted defining identity as a system and included some interrelated components: axiological, linguistic, communicative, regional, mental, and the component of everyday life. The works of both foreign and Russian scholars on the theme of ethnocultural identity and the peculiarities of its transformation served as a useful methodological tool. Turning to the peculiarities of the Mari ethnocultural identity that have taken place in the virtual environment, the author considered methods and techniques of representation of Mari culture in virtual reality. It was concluded that the globalization of the information and communicative area not only helps harmonization and standardization of cultures but also encourages the integration of ethnocultural space, manifestation, the realization of basic needs of identification, and the decision-making process on ethnocultural everyday life in a virtual ethnocultural space. On the Internet, ethnoculture is saved and maintained; it acquires a new quality of life due to symbolic forms referring to its historic background.

Keywords: virtualization, Internet space, ethnocultural, Mari, language, ethnocultural identity

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