Monday, September 6, 2021

Russia Now Confronted by Second Generation Problem among Migrant Workers, Diskin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 6 -- Specialists on ethnicity and immigration around the world have pointed to the fact that the main dangers to the countries where ethnically distinct people move comes not from the first generation but from the second generation, Iosif Diskin says. Now, that problem has come to Russia in the form of intensified conflicts among migrant groups.

            “The first generation [of migrant workers],” the specialist on migration at the Higher School of Economics says, presents fewer problems because its members “remember how it was in the countries they left, recall the deprivations they suffered their and recall the problems which forced them to bring their families to Russia” (

            The second generation, their children not only do not remember this experience of the first but “compare themselves” not with what their past was like but what their situation is in comparison to other immigrants who have more completely integrated into the Russian community. Its members are the ones responsible for the rise in street clashes in the cities.

            That problem is exacerbated by two other trends, rising wage levels in positions to which immigrant workers can aspire and fewer such jobs, Diskin says. Not surprisingly, this leads to invidious comparisons with other migrant workers and often leads to violent conflict. At the same time, he says, ethnic leaders often try to exploit these feelings for their own purposes.

            In other comments, Diskin says that when it comes to migrant workers, Russia needs to integrate them, not assimilate them by converting them into Russians. Indeed, the specialist on immigration argues, “the word ‘assimilation’ should be excluded from the nationality policy of Russia.”

            According to the expert, there should be “a clear division” between temporary workers who are here now but will go home and “those who have chosen the task of integrating themselves into Russian society.” It is the latter and their children in the first instance that the Russian authorities must be focusing on now.

No comments:

Post a Comment