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Testing the three hypotheses of intercultural relations in Russia and Latvia

On March 12, Nadezhda Lebedeva (PhD, Professor, Head of the International Scientific-Educational Laboratory for Sociocultural Research, HSE) took part in the “Culture Matters” research seminar. She delivered a talk entitled “Testing the three hypotheses of intercultural relations in Russia and Latvia”.

The study was based on an international project “Mutual Intercultural Research in Plural Societies” that focuses on evaluating three hypotheses of intergroup relations: multiculturalism, integration, and contact theories. The problem is especially relevant for Russia, where relations with former members of the USSR remain strained. After the fall of the Soviet Union, member countries faced difficulties in developing mutual understanding and adapting to new realities. The talk detailed the results of a study of three hypotheses of multiculturalism in Russia and Latvia. The sample for the study was comprised of members of the host society and ethnic minority – peoples of North Caucasus in Russia and Russians in Latvia.

In the discussion after the presentation several hypotheses describing the universality of models and possible intergroup mechanisms were proposed. The components of the models, their relations and interpretations of such relations were also discussed.