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Working paper

The relationship between social identities and acculturation strategies of the ethnic minority and majority in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania: an intergenerational analysis

This paper examines relationship between social identities and acculturation strategies of Russians (the ethnic minority) and Ossetians (the ethnic majority) in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (RNO-A). This study reveals the similarities and differences in relationships between social identities and acculturation strategies of integration and assimilation in three generations of Russians and Ossetians, living in RNO-A. The sample included 109 grandparent-parent-adolescent triads from Russian families and 106 triads from Ossetian families (N=645). Acculturation strategies and acculturation expectations were measured with MIRIPS scales, for ethnic, civic, religious, republic, regional identities. Data processing was carried out using structural equation modelling (SEM) separately for the ethnic minority and the ethnic majority. In the Russian sample there is a negative correlation between Russian cultural identity and the preference of assimilation strategy, and a positive correlation between their other (Ossetian) cultural identity and their integration strategy in all three generations. Among Ossetians no clear relationship between their Ossetian cultural identity and acculturation expectations was found in any of the generations. In Ossetian grandparents and adolescents the other (Russian) cultural identity is positively associated with the acculturation expectation multiculturalism. In adolescents (unlike grandparents and parents) this identity also has a positive correlation with the acculturation expectation melting pot. For Ossetian parents and adolescents their own cultural identity is positively associated with the acculturation expectation multiculturalism. For Ossetian parents (unlike for grandparents and adolescents) their own cultural identity negatively correlates with the acculturation expectation melting pot. In both ethnic groups their own cultural identities promote the preservation of their own culture while other cultural identities help them to adapt successfully in a multicultural society.