Background: Problems of design and transformation of a person’s values- and meanings-related sphere and ideas about the world remain relevant in Russian and foreign psychology, because they condition the person’s behavior in everyday communication.
Purpose: The purpose of this theoretical research consisted in identifying theoretical and methodological framework of studying trends in the phenomenon of the personal “image of the world” presented by concepts of mental representations and social representations developed by French and Russian social psychologists, and some other approaches. The subject of the study was cognitive structures which ensure functioning of the subjective “image of the world” and are expressed in biographical narratives (using the case of young people in the transitive society).
Design/methodology/approach: The activity-based and psychosemantic approaches to exploring the phenomenon of the “image of the world” in Russian and foreign psychology and results of the author’s empirical studies were subjected to comparative theoretical social and psychological analysis.
Findings: The trends of the personal “image of the world” were studied by turning to speech forms: one’s interaction with communication partners in various categories is reflected in one’s metaphors and narratives. The author’s narrative model of analysis of interaction with others within the modern young people’s changeable “image of the world” is presented in the paper. It is substantiated by the narrative analysis of the ideas about “friends” and “aliens”, “enemies” and “friends” in the subject’s “image of the world” using the case of the author’s empirical studies.
Conclusions: The analytical materials presented in the paper can be applied in group and individual social and psychological counseling of young people, as well as in developing programs for conflict management training sessions and correction of the subject’s attitudes to others.
Keywords: image of the world, narrative, transitive society, mental representations, social representations.