The Strategies of Inter-Ethnic Adaptation of Estonian Russians
The regular scientific seminar “Culture matters” took place on 18th October. Marianna Drozdova, Master of psychology, PhD-student of Political Science program in the University of Tallinn, made a report "The Strategies of Inter-Ethnic Adaptation of Estonian Russians”.
Marianna described the research of the features of adaptation of Russian migrants from different generations who settled in Estonia in different historical periods. The research is based on the model of acculturation by John Berry, which includes four strategies. At first, Marianna mentioned the historical facts which influenced somehow the Russian-speaking population in Estonia. For example, the Estonian language became the official language in 1989; in 1995 the government adopted the law, according to which citizens of Estonia must have a high level of Estonian language knowledge. Of course, such requirements brought a lot of difficulties for Russians who lived in Estonia and inter-ethnic relationships became highly politicized. Because of the large amount of Russian immigrants it is necessary to study the characteristics of their adaptation and to create special programs.
The data of the research was taken from integration monitoring of 2005. The sample includes 341 Russian-speaking respondents from 15 to 75 years. 36 variables that measure inter-ethnic relations were used to separate the factors. The factor analysis revealed five factors: contact and discrimination, satisfaction of policies, the importance of civic engagement, cultural threat, and ethnic self-esteem. Then four groups were identified due to the levels of each factors. Each group reflects the level of adaptation in the Estonian society.
It was found that the most effectively adopted people have low cultural threat, high satisfaction of policy, high self-esteem, and they live mostly in the regions dominated by Estonians. The group with low adaptation appeared with the opposite results.
The results of this study can be used to develop programs of acculturation of Russians in Estonia.