This paper addresses issues concerning multiculturalism in post-Soviet Russia. These include: the ethnic composition of Russia; the ethnic composition of its immigrant population; and the mutual adaptation of immigrants and members of the larger (host) society. Russia is one of the most multicultural societies in the world, with large populations of 194 different cultural origins. Russia is also second in the world in terms of its immigrant population, with most coming from the Central Asian States (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan) and China. This paper describes the current cultural and immigrant diversity in Russia, and provides an empirical examination of the social and psychological issues that immigrants and the larger society must face. The research example focuses on Moscow as a highly multicultural metropolis and the most attractive destination for immigrant workers. The paper presents the findings of an empirical study based on the “Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies” project (Berry (2006) that examines. the reciprocal acculturation and intercultural relations between immigrants and members of the larger society (N=1075). The study examines the relevance of three hypotheses for improving intercultural relations: the multiculturalism hypothesis; the integration hypothesis; and contact hypothesis (Berry, 2012) which are all derived from the Canadian multiculturalism policy. Data processing was carried out using structural equation modeling (SEM) with the data of migrants and the host population analyzed separately and then compared with each other. The results showed that the combined measures of security, perceived discrimination, and acculturation strategies and expectations all have a significant impact on immigrants and the host society members’ perceptions of life satisfaction, ethnic tolerance and their mutual attitudes. The results support all three hypotheses in both groups (immigrants and host society). The authors concluded that the efforts to improve relations between the host society and immigrants should be directed at enhancing the host society’s basic sense of security and developing programs that increase multicultural attitudes, ethno-cultural competence and tolerance among the host society as well as among immigrants. These improvements may be achieved using intercultural communication training, which promotes better adaptation and helps improve intercultural relations.
Schools are important for the academic and socio-emotional development, as well as acculturation of immigrant-and refugee-background youth. We highlight individual differences which shape their unique experiences, while considering three levels of the school context in terms of how they may affect adaptation outcomes: (1) interindividual interactions in the classroom (such as peer relations, student-teacher relations, teacher beliefs, and teaching practices), (2) characteristics of the classroom or school (such as ethnic composition and diversity climate), and (3) relevant school-and nation-level policies (such as diversity policies and school tracking). Given the complexity of the topic, there is a need for more research taking an integrated and interdisciplinary perspective to address migration related issues in the school context. Teacher beliefs and the normative climate in schools seem particularly promising points for intervention, which may be easier to change than structural aspects of the school context. More inclusive schools are also an important step toward more peaceful interethnic relations in diverse societies.
Falling levels of electoral participation in established democracies have raised serious concern. We investigate the role of basic personal values in identifying those who do not vote. We argue that voting in specific elections offers non-voters less opportunity to affirm, protect, or attain the values they cherish than it offers to voters. We hypothesize that people who do not vote attribute less importance than voters to those values that the contesting parties actually endorse (actual value congruence) and that the parties are perceived as endorsing (perceived value congruence). Study 1 (Italian national elections of 2001, n = 1,782) confirmed the hypothesis for actual congruence between own and coalition endorsed values. Study 2 (2008 elections, n = 543) confirmed the hypothesis both for actual and perceived value congruence. In both studies, value congruence explained substantial variance in voter abstention beyond the effects of socio-demographic variables.