Value Systems and National Identity (The case of Male High School Students of Miandoab in the Year 2011-2012)



Nowadays in a changing world values are changing too, especially value systems and their consequences are very interesting for sociologists and other scholars of culture. Value systems have a main role in the guidance of human life, cultural interactions, selection of technology and attitude to science. One of the most important roles of value systems is the formation of social identity (Elmi, 2009). We can understand believes, attitudes, judgments and identity by studying the value system of people. Social identity has multidimensional. For example, national identity, ethnic identity, gender identity and occupational identity are some important aspects of social identity. Because of the importance of national identity, in this research we focused on national identity as one of the sensitive dimensions in which social identity is represented. This aspect of social identity in countries with more ethnic and religious minorities is very important. There are extra reasons for necessity and importance of studying the value system and national identity. For example, adolescent age is a very sensitive period for identity formation. It is particularly critical during the developmental period of adolescence because this is the time when individuals begin to exhibit increased social and cognitive maturity. Because of increased cognitive capabilities', adolescents are able to consider the different sets of values, goals, and ideals they may encounter and adopt (Umaña-Taylor & Fine, 2004). Also, there are not enough studies about value system and national identity variables among students in Iran, so we need more experimental data about these issues. Due to the above reasons the main purpose of this research is testing the relationship between value system and national identity of male, high school students of Miandoab city in 2011-12.

Materials & Methods
The method of this research is survey. The statistical population include male high-school students of Miandoab city in the west of Azarbaijan, whose number was 2423.
For our purpose, about 300 students were randomly selected from the population, by using Cochran sampling formula and cluster sampling method. For gathering the data, two questionnaires were used. For value system variable we made a questionnaire, based on Allport's model. This model has six components: social, economic, art, political, religious and scientific components.
For measuring national identity, national identity scale (NIS) was used. Although the original scale was used in a different context, we conducted a pretest to assess the fitness of the questionnaire. Also, to determine the internal consistency of each scale, Cronbach Alpha coefficient was examined (0.80 for the value system scale and 0.89 for national identity scale). The SPSS software was used for analyzing the data.

Discussion of Results & Conclusions
The average scores for different dimensions in the value system of students were 69.8 % for economic dimension, 88.4% for social, 77.7% for political, 86% for art, 86.8% for religious, and 94.4% for scientific dimension, respectively. The average score for national identity was 74.5%. The other results showed that there are significant and positive relationships between religious values (0.45), scientific values (0.205), art values (0.177), social values (0.120) and political values (0.117) with national identity variable. However, no significant correlation was found between national identity variable and economic values. Also the results of the multivariable regression showed that 20 percent of the changes of national identity can be explained by religious values. These results were also seen in similar studies in Iran. For example, Armaki and Ghiyasvand (2004), Soliman (2011), Taleban, Mobasheri and Mehraeen (2010), provide empirical support for our findings.
According to these results and some of the similar studies in Iran, we can say that value systems affect formation national identity among students. Also, it appears that the main and notable dimension of value system is religious dimension. This result confirms findings of other scholars, who say religious values are a main part of Iranian identity.
Based on findings of the current study, for leaders and planners of the educational system in Iran it is necessary to pay more attention to value systems in general and religious values, in particular. Of course for achieving this important goal in the educational system of Iran, appropriate and scientific programs are needed. For a better understanding of the value system of Iranian students and better planning we need more research in this field.