Second Generation Migrants Aged 18–35 in Russia: Research Project Results
The article presents the results of a two-year research project devoted to the integration of second generation migrants in the young adult age range (18-35 years old) from the regions of Transcaucasia and Central Asia currently living in Russia. The project includes an online survey where respondents were recruited using a targeting procedure on social networking sites (N=12524) and a series of interviews (N=401) in 10 regions of Russia. The article contains four parts—each dealing with one of the four migrant integration dimensions—which have been delineated based on the German tradition in migrant integration studies: structural, social, cultural, and identificational integration. The authors show that second generation migrants from Transcaucasia and Central Asia do not differ from their local peers in terms of their earnings, but there are significant variations in their educational level: higher education characterizes first of all second-generation migrants from Transcaucasia to a lesser extent local youth, even less so — second-generation migrants from Central Asia. Social networks of second-generation migrants are inclusive and dominated by the representatives of “other” ethnic categories; however, their marriages are mostly monoethnic. A considerable share of second-generation migrants have “liberal” attitudes and practices in the realm of gender relations, and although second-generation migrants are generally more conservative than the local youth, the gap is minor. Second-generation migrants have a strong identification with “their own” ethnic categories but that impedes neither their feeling “at home” in Russia nor their belonging in the town or region of Russia where they grew up. A comparison of integration characteristics of second-generation migrants in Russia with situations in other migrant-receiving countries shows that the Russian case is successful, comparable with Canada and Australia. However, the success is explained not with the well-reasoned migration policy as in the latter states, but with the various factors of the Soviet past including a common cultural environment as well as egalitarian urban landscapes that are of paramount importance for the comprehension of the migration system centered around Russia.