Zbornik Instituta za pedagoska istrazivanja 2009 Volume 41, Issue 2, Pages: 401-417
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The analysis of actual and symbolic models of secondary school students in Serbia
Stepanović Ivana, Pavlović-Babić Dragica, Krnjaić Zora
This paper deals with role models of secondary school students in Serbia. In the course of adolescence, there is a gradual separation from parental figures, and other persons become role models for behavior. For that reason, secondary school population is of interest when analyzing this phenomenon, particularly bearing in mind that role models influence not only social, but also other aspects of development. We analyzed role models from students' personal (actual models) and public life (symbolic models). The main aim was to determine who their actual and symbolic models are, and why secondary school students look up to them. Based on the data on secondary school students' actual models, it is possible to identify who important persons from their milieu are and why they are important to them. The data about the categories in which symbolic models can be divided, as well as about their occurrence, indicate the young people's system of values in these analyses. The sample comprises 2426 students from 26 schools in 9 Serbian towns. Actual and symbolic models were examined in separate questions, where students were asked to name up to three people from their private life or the world of celebrities that they look up to. 53,9% of students named their actual models, the most common being their mothers. Nearly half the examinees (49,3%) stated their symbolic models are public figures. Most symbolic models are from the world of show-business. The results show that parental figures remain the models of behavior throughout adolescence. The data about the categories of symbolic models show the young are drawn to the world of entertainment and indicate a weak role of schools as a potential source of models in the fields of science and culture who would promote cognitive values.
Keywords: role models, actual models, symbolic models, secondary school students
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