Social resource of ethnic diasporas in migrants’ adaptation and integration in a multiethnic region
Keywords:national diasporas, multiethnic region, migration risks, adaptation, integration, absorption of diasporas, ethno- national associations, multicultural model
Drawn upon the data of a sociological study which included quantitative (survey among the residents of the Volgograd region, n = 500, July—August 2016; migrant survey, Volgograd region, n = 150, July—September 2016) and qualitative methods (expert interviews in Moscow, St Petersburg and Volgograd in July-October 2016; in-depth interviews with immigrants in Volgograd region in July—October 2016; discourse analysis of interview transcripts), the article provides an analysis of the modern discourse devoted to national diasporas and their role in the adaptation and integration of immigrants. Adaptation, being a primary strategy in the recipient region/country, refers to the assistance in document submission (registration, receipt of patents, migration registration), housing and job search, providing advice on various issues — from daily life problems to legal issues. Migrant integration is a longer process which consists in the diasporas’ absorption, overcoming socio-cultural distance, decreased propensity towards conflicts and migrant’s adjustment in a foreign community; integration also increases the migration rates and contains potential social risks as it provides more opportunities for the activities of the ethnic interest groups, formation of enclaves and economic segmentation, intensifies criminal connections and adds complexity to hardto- control transnational communication due to the use of information technologies which threaten regional security. These ambiguous and multidirectional processes prove that the recipient communities are increasingly at risk, and their “self-reflection” defines the purpose of the study which is to reveal the changing functions of the national diasporas that help to maintain their social resource during adaptation and integration of the arriving persons.