Comparisons are a means of reflecting the characteristics of the mentality and transmit national stereotypes and standards from generation to generation.
In each national culture, a distinction and opposition between one's own and another's takes place, since each person is a representative of his own ethnic group. The processes of identification and distinction between “one's own” and “another's” are the basis of all comparison and juxtaposition, therefore, comparisons of the Russian language were chosen as the material of our study. The opposition reflects interethnic and intra-ethnic relations. Representations of “friends” and “strangers” are fixed in the form of stereotypes, the basis of which are the characteristics of the “stranger” obtained by comparison with the “friend”.
The aim of the study is to consider the opposition “friend or stranger” in comparative constructions as one of the ways of perceiving the world in Russian linguistic culture.
The analysis revealed a variety of forms of manifestation and representation in the language of this opposition as a cultural phenomenon. It is presented in comparative constructions, reflecting various relationships, including blood-related, ethnic, linguistic, and others. Particular attention is paid to the peculiarities of verbalization of the “friend or stranger” concept in literary texts and paremias.
The studied materials prove that in many cases “one's own” is perceived as natural, normal in comparison with a “stranger”, and characteristics not corresponding to this norm are often regarded as negative. However, there are constructions where the “stranger” is not hostile, but simply different, different from the “own”, evaluated positively. Literary texts are also characterized by comparisons with negative self-esteem, which is associated with the stereotype of Russians that is widespread among many peoples.
The results can contribute to further study of the world image of representatives of various ethnic groups.