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Applications of acculturation theory in studying Russian-speaking migrants in Germany

On January 25, Yekaterina Kazarceva (researcher at the Laboratory of Sociology of Education and Science, HSE, Saint Petersburg) took part in the “Culture matters” research seminar. Yekaterina presented a talk on applications of acculturation theory in studying Russian-speaking migrants in Germany.

Her presentation covered opportunities and caveats of using acculturation theory in sociological research, with the study of Russian-speaking youth in Germany as an example. Yekaterina also talked about using this theory to define criteria for describing the process of acculturation of migrants in a host society. Such criteria are: strategies of acculturation, ethnic identity, intensity of contact with own ethnic group and with the host society, degree of cultural loss and cultural continuity, and attitudes towards re-immigration. Yekaterina described group-level and individual-level factors influencing the process of culturation, such as cultural syndromes, cultural capital, motivational factors and socio-demographic characteristics. The study was performed using in-depth interviews and was funded by FU Berlin in 2008. The sample included Russian immigrants age 16 to 27 permanently residing in Germany. The results suggested differences in the choice of acculturation strategies according to the age at immigration and ethnic identity.