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Theoretical approaches towards examining the adaptation of migrants to the host society: foreign practices

Anna A. Endryushko junior fellow, Center for the study of interethnic relations, Institute of Sociology of Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
mailto: anna.endryushko@mail.ru
ORCID ID=0000-0002-1358-1145
Theoretical approaches towards examining the adaptation of migrants to the host society: foreign practices.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2017. Vol. 8. No. 4. P. 45-70

DOI: 10.19181/vis.2017.23.4.480

This Article is downloaded: 670 times
Topic: To the methodology of scientific research

For citation:
Anna A. Endryushko. Theoretical approaches towards examining the adaptation of migrants to the host society: foreign practices. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2017. Vol. 8. No. 4. P. 45-70
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2017.23.4.480


This article examines approaches towards understanding the adaptation processes and integration of migrants, as well as their dynamics, based on material from foreign literature. Presented is the development of approaches all the way from sociologists of the Chicago school (R. Park, W. Thomas, F. Znanetskiy) and up until the contemporary understanding of adaptation processes within the framework of transnationalism concepts. Adaptation has undergone a path from a straightforward, one-directional process, which assumes that changes in migrants’ culture would only occur by direction of “assimilation” (i.e. the concept of a “melting-pot”), towards being understood within the framework of transnationalism, “flexible” acculturation, when a person can have two or more cultural identities and be involved in several cultural contexts at once. Special attention is paid to one of the dominant models in contemporary studies – Berry’s acculturation models, which propose four possibilities for acculturation – assimilation, integration, separation (or segregation) and marginalization. Also considered are the assimilation conception by R. Alba and V. Ni which was transformed in the 1990’s, the segmented assimilation theory which studies the children of contemporary migrants (A. Portes, M. Zhou, R. Rumbo), the theory of cross-cultural adaptation (Y. Kim) and the conception of “flexible” acculturation (I. Peters). The latter proposes multiple schemes of identification and integration. Transnationalism is specifically examined as the most modern approach towards understanding the adaptation of migrants to a new environment, which accepts that migrants can exist in several social contexts, changing their country of residence while not completely losing touch with their country of origin. The study is aimed towards broadening the base of information for those learning about migrant adaptation, and is addressed to practitioners who are carrying out tasks under the “Strategy for state national policy for the period up to the year 2025” in regards to migrants.


Migrant adaptation, assimilation, acculturation, the theory of segmented assimilation, cross-cultural adaptation, multiculturalism, integration, flexible acculturation, transnationalism.


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