ISSN online: 2221-1616

Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

Research Article

Гульнара Г Габдрахманова Doctor of Sociology
Head of the Department of Ethnology, Marjani Institute of History Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan, Russia
Эльвина Э Сагдиева Candidate of Sociology
Senior Researcher of the Department of Ethnology, Marjani Institute of History Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan, Russia
The socio-cultural conditions for the adaptation of “new” ethnic groups in the Republic of Tatarstan.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2019. Vol. 10. No. 1. P. 58-77

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Topic: Russian realitites: modern challenges?

For citation:
Габдрахманова Г. Ф., Сагдиева Э. А. The socio-cultural conditions for the adaptation of “new” ethnic groups in the Republic of Tatarstan. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2019. Vol. 10. No. 1. P. 58-77


Censuses conducted at the turn of the 21st century reveal an increase in ethnic diversity in Tatarstan. The migration of people, who became the namesakes for Soviet republics and CIS states, has lead to the emergence of unconventional ethnic groups in this region. Matters regarding why some of their members are able to establish themselves in the region, while others are not, as well as the factors which affect the process – all of this has not been sufficiently examined. The key objective of this study was to reveal the subjective socio-cultural conditions for the process of “new” ethnic groups attaching themselves to Tatarstan, them having spent various amounts of time in the republic. In 2016 the authors conducted a study of the aforementioned process while focusing on the Tajiks and Uzbeks living in Tatarstan. Using a qualitative approach (while utilizing interview method), which involved exposing the most typical forms of the subjective perception of migration (phenomenology of M. Weber, A. Schutz, E. Husserl, H. Bergson). In depth interviews revealed that the length of stay and an absence of plans for leaving the region of settlement are insufficient (in some cases even invalid) markers of migrant adaptation: the latter should be determined using the socio-cultural characteristics of inbound migrants. These would include their socialization in their regions of departure, their migration experience and reasons for moving to Tatarstan, whether they have a family or not, their family ties, whether they regard themselves and their children as citizens of the Russian Federation, the degree to which they have absorbed the cultural norms of the host community (which includes knowledge of the local languages), their ethnic identity and interethnic networks. Analyzing these parameters allowed for highlighting three adaptation strategies utilized by Tajiks and Uzbeks living in the Republic of Tatarstan. The first one is represented by those who moved there at the end of the Soviet period, or the beginning of the post-Soviet period. These are the “old inhabitants”. This group does not include those who have not integrated, despite them staying in Tatarstan for prolonged periods several times. They do not possess their own residence, or Russian citizenship, and do not seek to attain it. They have no intent to adopt the culture of the host society, often live in isolation, while their families reside in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan. An intermediate position is occupied by migrants who have been living in Tatarstan for quite a long time. All of them are employed, some of them have their own residence and Russian citizenship. Some of them live there together with their families. Such informants consider themselves distant from the locals in terms of culture, while considering their regions of departure to be their homeland. Despite the varying degree of attachment (or lack thereof), one common thing among all of those migrants surveyed is the fact that Islam was one of the key motivational terms of their migration.


migrants, Tatarstan, Tajiks, Uzbeks, survival, socio-cultural features.


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