Krzhizhanovskogo Street, 24/35, korpus 5, 117218, Moscow, Russia
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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Over the last few decades, immigrant adaptation issues have continued to bear relevance both in Russia and around the world. Those who relocated to new places of residence no longer attach themselves to one place (locale), nation (state-civil community), or culture, which, of course, takes a toll on their self-perception and adaptation – this creates new opportunity and new dimensions in terms of identity. This mostly applies to civil, ethnic and local identities, due to their complex nature and their proportion between the country of origin and host environment. Both foreign and Russian researchers recognize the importance of studying immigrant identities, which is regarded as one of the components of their capacity for integration. This article considers the proportion of Russian identity, identity of country of origin, as well as local and ethnic identities of Azerbaijani immigrants living in Russia. Their readiness to transform their self-consciousness, with it being a key indicator of their integration into Russian society, is analyzed. This study’s empirical basis consists of data from an all-Russian survey among labor immigrants, conducted by the HSE and CEPRS in 19 Russian regions in 2017, as well as data from semi-structured interviews with Azerbaijani immigrants living in Moscow, which helped identify situational factors in their hierarchy of identities and understand the foundations on which their self-consciousness is based. Analyzed is how immigrants’ identity structure is influenced by age and place of residence, education level, type of immigration and duration of stay in Russia. It was revealed, based on in-depth interviews, that Russian identity among Azerbaijanis is based around a state-civil foundation, while in the case of elder generations it is based around their having been a common nation in the past. A conclusion is drawn indicating a transnational direction in Azerbaijani immigrants’ identity, with ethnic identity prevailing, which fits in favorably with a developing sense of connection to Russia both among circular and long-term migrants. In relation to comparable studies conducted in 2011, analyzed are the increasingly more positive assessments of the host Russian environment by Azerbaijani immigrants, which, in our estimation, creates a favorable foundation for developing a positive Russian identity among them.
Azerbaijani immigrants, Russian identity, country identity, ethnic identity, local identity, integration of migrants
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