Article Information

“CORRUPTION”, “CROWDS”, AND “LEZGINKA”: REGIONAL SPECIFICS OF ATTITUDES TOWARDS MIGRANTS IN PRESENT-DAY RUSSIA (the Case-Study of Moscow and Krasnodar)

Natalya Kosmarskaya (E-mail: kosmarskis@gmail.com)

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Citation: Kosmarskaya N.P. (2018) “Korruptsiya”, “tolpy” i “lezginka”: regional'naya spetsifika otnosheniya rossiyan k migrantam (na primere Moskvy i Krasnodara) [“Corruption”, “Crowds”, and “Lezginka”: Regional Specifics of Attitudes towards Migrants in Present-Day Russia (The Case-Study of Moscow and Krasnodar)]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 21(2): 187–213 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2018.21.2.7

Full Text (PDF)

Abstract. In Russia, a place of destination for millions of labour migrants from the former Soviet republics, a highly topical issue of anti-migrant sentiments among the host population has been mainly addressed by researchers via large-scale surveys picturing all Russia with averaged tones. The goal of this paper is to highlight explanatory potential of alternative, qualitative research methods (semi-structured interviewing) for revealing roots and manifestations of regional specifics of xenophobia, taking Moscow and Krasnodar as the case-studies. These two cities, though being largely different in terms of size, historical-demographic background, level of economic welfare and economic activity, share a common feature crucial for the research issue under study: both of them have been for many decades recipients of large amounts of people arriving for a permanent residence or as labour migrants from various parts of Russia and from the “near abroad”.

The notion of a “contextual factor” as a determinant of popular attitudes towards migrants is introduced in the paper. What is meant by “context” is that the theme of migrants (migration) arises, is interpreted and understood by respondents in connection with some other, more general topics which throw light on specifics of the “situation around migrants” in a concrete city — specifics usually elusive for large-scale surveys. As interviewing of ordinary people in the two cities testifies, the story (in relation to popular perception of migrants) in Krasnodar is the one about ethnicity and (non)acceptance, by the local residents, of cultural traits of the people whom they call «newcomers». In Moscow, in contrast, the story is about socio-political situation in the city/country.

The paper seeks to respond to the following questions. 1) What are major concerns of the residents of Moscow and Krasnodar associated with migrants and/or provoked by the presence of numerous migrants in the city? 2) Are there any stable segments of host population inclined to hold a more positive stance towards migrants and, conversely, to display larger intolerance? 3) Do “locals” react differently to migrants of different ethno-cultural backgrounds and social status, and why? 4) What might be the impact of cultural stereotypes transmitted by the media, on popular attitudes towards migrants?

Keywords: perception of migrants, Russia, ethno-cultural “others”, labour migrants, roots and manifestations of migrantophobia, contextual factors, regional specifics, methods of research

 

References

Bevelander P., Otterbeck J. (2010) Young People's Attitudes towards Muslims in Sweden. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 33(6): 404–425.

Bilodeau A., Fadol N. (2011) The Roots of Contemporary Attitudes toward Immigration in Australia: Contextual and Individual-Level Influences. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(6): 1088–1109.

Blakkisrud H., Kolstø P. (2017) Stavropol as “Russia's Kosovo”? Nationalist Mobilization and Public Response in a Russian Region. Post-Soviet Affairs, 22(5): 370–388.

Böltken F. (2003) Social Distance and Physical Proximity: Day-to-Day Attitudes and Experiences of Foreigners and Germans Living in the Same Residential Areas. In: Alba R., Schmidt P., Wasmer M. (eds.).Germans or Foreigners? Attitudes toward Ethnic Minorities in Post-Reunification Germany. New York: Palgrave McMillan: 233–254.

Brubaker R., Feischmidt M., Fox J., Grancea L. (2006) Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Escandell X., Ceobanu A.M. (2009) When Contact with Immigrants Matters: Threat, Interethnic Attitudes and Foreign Exclusionism in Spain's Comunidades Autónomas. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 32 (1): 44–69.

De Fina A. (2003) Identity in Narrative. A Study of Immigrant Discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Foxall A. (2012) Post-Soviet Ethnic Relations in Stavropol'skii Krai, Russia: “A Melting Pot or Boiling Shaft”? Europe-Asia Studies, 64 (9): 1758–1779.

Gladyrev B. (2009) Etnicheskie migranty na ulitsakh Peterburga [Ethnic migrants in the streets of St.-Petersburg]. Моnitoring obshchestvennogo mneniya [Monotoring of the Public Opinion], 2(90): 221–230 (in Russian).

Hagendoorn L. (1993) Ethnic Categorization and Outgroup Exclusion: Cultural Values and Social Stereotypes in the Construction of Ethnic Hierarchies. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 16(1):26–51.

Kosmarskaya N., Savin I. (2016) Everyday Nationalism in Russia in European Context (Moscow Residents' Perceptions of Ethnic Minority Migrants and Migration). In: Kolstø P., Blakkisrud H. (eds.). The New Russian Nationalism, 2000–2015: Imperialism, Ethnicity, Authoritarianism. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press: 132–159.

Kosmarskaya N., Kosmarski A. (2018) «Russian Culture» in Central Asia as a Trans-Ethnic Phenomenon. In: Platt K. (ed.). Global Russian Cultures. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press (in print).

Коzlova M.A. (2015) “Gosti stolitsy” v glazakh moskvichey: moral'noe obosnovanie otsenok migratsii [“Guests of the capital” through the Muscovites' eyes: moral explanations of attitudes towards migration]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 19(3): 110–122 (in Russian).

Malakhov V.S. (2014) Russia as New Immigration Country: Policy Response and Public Debate. Europe-Asia Studies, 66 (7): 1062–1079.

Melvin N.J. (1998) The Russians: Diaspora and the End of Empire. In: King Ch., Melvin N.J. (eds.).Nations Abroad. Diaspora Politics and International Relations in the Former Soviet Union. Boulder: Westview Press: 27–57.

Mikhailova Yu. (2011) Electronic Media and Popular Discourse on Russian Nationalism. Nationalities Papers, 39(4): 523–546.

Pausch F. (2016) Media Influence on the Public Perception of Migrants and Migration in Germany. In: Rozanova M. (ed.). Labour Migration and Migrant Integration Policy in Germany and Russia. St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg State University: 147–152.

Pȩdziwiatr K. (2017) Islamophobia in Poland: National Report 2016. In: Bayrakli E., Hafez F. (eds.). European Islamophobia Report 2016. Istanbul: SETA. Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research: 411–442.

Schenk C. (2012) Nationalism in the Russian Media: Content Analysis of Newspaper Coverage Surrounding Conflict in Stavropol, 24 May–7 June 2007. Nationalities Papers, 40 (5): 783–805.

Schenk C. (2013) Controlling Immigration Manually: Lessons from Moscow (Russia). Europe-Asia Studies, 65 (7): 1444–1465.

Semyonov M., Gorodzeisky A., Raijman R. (2006) The Rise of Anti-Foreigner Sentiments in European Societies, 1988–2000. American Sociological Review, 71(3): 426–449.

Sides J., Citrin J. (2007) European Opinion about Immigration: the Role of Identities, Interests, and Information. British Journal of Political Science, 37(3): 477–504.

Stepanov V.V. (2016) Оbshchestvennoe vospriyatie migratsii i migrantov vs ovremennoy Rossii [Public perception of migrants in contemporary Russia]. In: Stepanov V.V. (red.). Мigratsiya i migranty v Rossii i mire: opyt sotsial'no-antropologicheskikh i etnograficheskikh nablyudeniy [Migration and migrants in Russia and worldwide: socio-anthropological and ethnographic observations]. М.: IEA RAN: 112–117 (in Russian).

Таtarko A.N. (2009) Rol' vosprinimaemoy ugrozy v otnoshenii moskvichey k migrantam [Perceived threat in the Muscovites' attitudes towards migrants]. In: Lebedeva N.M., TatarkoA.N. (red.). Strategii mezhkul'turnogo vzaimodeystviya migrantov i naseleniya Rossii [Migrants and population of Russia: strategies of inter-cultural interaction]. М.: RUDN: 141–165 (in Russian).

Trubina E.G. (2014) Review of: The Urban Ethnography Reader. Ed. by M. Duneier, Ph. Kazinitz, A. Murphy. Oxford University Press, 2014. Sibirskie istoricheskie issledovaniya [Siberian Historical Studies], 2: 126–133 (in Russian).

Yakimova О.А. (2015). Mediadiskurs inostrannoy migratsii v Rossiyu v kontekste konstruirovaniya mezhetnicheskogo vzaimodeystviya [Mediadiscourse on international migration to Russia through the lens of popular perception of interethnic contacts]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 19(3): 123–136 (in Russian).