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Ethno-cultural features of migrants’ integration in host community: dispersed integration or enclavization

On February 6th has been held academic seminar from series "Culture Matters" with Igor Kuznetsov, senior researcher of Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences.

I. Kuznetsov’ report was devoted not as much to results of existing studies as to identification of problem areas revealed in various studies of both migrants and representatives of host environment. Author judgments about possible impact of ethno-cultural (ethno-religious) characteristics of different categories of migrants on their integration’ strategies into host community are based on the interpretation of terms such as: adaptation, integration and ethno-cultural enclave.

Author understands adaptation as "a process of maintaining dynamic balance between the essential internal dispositions of subject and adaptation requirements of new environment. Limit of adaptive changes comes when it is important to preserve essential characteristics directly determining socio-cultural identity of person".

For migrants coming to any country, there are several scenarios of adaptation - dispersed integration (such migrants become members of host society) or enclavization (separation into communities with preservation of specific culture). Author focuses on group processes, since he believes that strategy of assimilation is a personal process, which is quite difficult to study.

Igor Kuznetsov emphasizes the fact that adaptation process is facilitated by preservation of personal identity. If host community doesn’t give a "base" to support personal identity, then migrant finds it in his/her own culture (which promotes formation of enclaves). Statistically significant cross-cultural differences found in empirical studies of various categories of migrants show that migrants targeted for permanent residence are more likely to integrate than those who focused on the temporary staying.

 

Anna Lipatova