Students' survey on urban identity

Published: 31 May 2020| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/cdx3p3npk4.1
Anna Sosnovskaya,


The Committee for the Protection of Monuments in St. Petersburg (Russia) conducts educational work for schoolchildren and students. Since 2016, students of the Department of Social Technologies of the RANEPA have been participating in an educational and research project on urban identity also. In 2018, we decided to conduct a monitoring of urban identity and self-identification by students collaborated with committee projects. Poll was placed in a public Internet environment, Google Surveys, everyone could fill it, however, the link was recommended to be filled by schoolchildren and student partners KGIOP projects. The survey also had a reinforcing educational function - do they know that the object “The historical center of St. Petersburg and a related group of monuments ”is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List? There were 174 answers by students who live in St. Petersburg. Many of them came from other cities, but almost all have the identity of a Petersburger. There are several open questions of the online questionnaire: What makes Petersburg different from other cities of the world? Who is a Petersburger of the XXI century and what are his qualities? What is the “spirit of Petersburg”? - they are projections in terms of psychology, therefore, using semiotic methods, one can reconstruct practices, meanings and values. Questions appeal to our claim that identity is connected with the basic needs: belonging to a place that is maintained and taken care of, managed, shared with other people, provides an opportunity for creative expression. These needs go back to Jung’s analytical psychology, but are also well known through Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in humanistic social psychology. The question of the spirit of the city allows us to understand the significant practices of the place that create the special atmosphere of the city 'genius loci', felt by the younger generation. The question on ideal Petersburger refers to projective identification and self-description. We are wondering if there are significant differences in the perception of self-identity and city identity of young city residents from previous generations, stereotypes and traditional views.


Steps to reproduce

We used Google surveys and questions: What is your hometown? Your age? Do you consider yourself a Petersburger? What distinguishes Petersburg from other cities in the world? What are your feelings in Petersburg? Who is a 21st century Petersburger and what are their qualities? What is the "spirit of Petersburg"? Do you know that the object “The historical center of St. Petersburg and related groups of monuments” is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List?


Rossijskaa akademia narodnogo hozajstva i gosudarstvennoj sluzby pri Prezidente Rossijskoj Federacii


Culture Heritage, Semiotics, Cultural Identity, Russian Language, Young People, Psychosocial Needs, Identity Development, Urban Anthropology