Emigration from Russia: about conceptual category

Emigration from Russia:
about conceptual category

Ryazantsev S.V.

Corresponding Member of the RAS, Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Prof., Director, Institute for Demographic Research of FCTAS RAS; Head Department of Demographic and Migration Policy, MGIMO, Moscow, Russia riazan@mail.ru

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Ryazantsev S.V. Emigration from Russia: about conceptual category. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 8. P. 48-53


The article is an attempt to conceptualize and substantiate the concepts that characterize the process and result of emigration from Russia and the former USSR. The key concepts characterizing the Russian-speaking population abroad, as well as the definitions and terminology of return migration to Russia are: "Russians", "emigrants from Russia", "Russian by origin", "population with Russian roots", "born in Russia”, etc. The author's interpretation of certain concepts and categories characterizing emigration from Russia is proposed. It is proved that the term "Russian-speaking communities" reflects more clearly the characteristics of Russians abroad titan the "Russian Diaspora". The arguments for using this terminology are offered: Russians living abroad represent a very diverse ethnic, religious, social and political group of the population; Russians in many countries are integrating well into host societies, already in the first generation are so successful that they are trying to give up signs of national identity; Russians have little or no ethnic consolidation and compact living. The key components of the formation of the Russian-speaking population abroad are outlined: emigration, the disintegration of the USSR, natural movement, transformation of identity. Domestic and foreign sources of information on emigration are described in detail. On the basis of a comparison of the data of Russian and foreign statistics, estimates are given of the number of different categories of emigrants from Russia and the countries of the former USSR. The concepts and tendencies of the return migration of the Russian-speaking population to Russia are indicated. The estimate of migration potential in foreign countries for Russia is given. It is argued that the implementation of the migration potential requires not so much pushing conditions in the countries of their current residence, but a more reasonable migration policy and an attractive social and economic situation in Russia. It is noted that there is no single and universal concept that would include all the totality and diversity of natives of Russia and people speaking Russian. The state policy of Russia in working with compatriots abroad should be more diversified, include more diverse instruments of interaction. The motivation, interests and guidelines of the population, their migration attitudes, and the sociodemographic structure require additional in-depth study.

emigration; Russia; Diaspora; Russian-speaking communities; return migration; compatriots


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Content No 8, 2018