The success of cross-cultural online communication in an academic environment is defined by the degree of student involvement in such an interaction. The authors’ experience testifies that a number of objective, language, and psychological factors may decrease the activeness of these interactions, and as a result learning may not be effective for students in these types of cross-cultural interactions. Among such factors the current article investigates the influence of a communicator’s speech peculiarities on a recipient’s willingness to maintain interaction in native-to-nonnative, written online communication in the English language. The study was aimed at verifying a hypothesis about the influence of Russian communicants’ speech characteristics on American communicants’ willingness to maintain conversations. The research method chosen was content analysis. Thematic chats involving Russian and American students participating in the Global Understanding course were analyzed. The results of the content analysis allowed us to distinguish certain Russian communicants’ written speech characteristics, such as the prevalence of language and grammar mistakes, the degree of vocabulary richness, and the use of complex sentences. Significant correlations were discovered between the American communicants’ willingness to maintain conversations and the number of mistakes, indicators of lexical richness and scarcity in Russian communicants’ utterances. Language and speech mistakes as well as the quantity of words in the utterances of micro themes had the highest number of significant correlations with indicators of the willingness to maintain conversations. The first factor, language and speech mistakes, decreased the willingness to maintain conversations, whereas the second factor, the number of words in Russian students’ utterances, increased such willingness.
Keywords: intercultural communicative competence, cross-cultural online communication, written communication, language and speech mistakes, willingness to maintain interaction
This article is devoted to current issues of labor migrants’ adaptation. The research is based on questioning 210 labor migrants from Uzbekistan aged 17 to 49, at present living in Saint Petersburg. It should be mentioned that Uzbekistan labor migrants constitute a considerable part of the entire labor-migrant flow to Russia, Saint Petersburg, in particular.
The research targets the analysis of personal characteristics contributing to effective adaptation by labor migrants. The research contains an analysis of the system of personality “I”-structures interrelation, their constructive, destructive, and deficient components as well as the analysis of life-meaning guidelines and the system of migrants’ family and interpersonal relationships. The outcomes obtained make it possible to examine labor migrants’ unique personality characteristics, depending on their attitude toward whether to stay in Russia or return to Uzbekistan, as well as to provide an analysis of migrants’ mental health or psychological well-being and to forecast the effectiveness of migrants’ adaptation. Two groups of labor migrants — those intending to stay in Russia and those wishing to return to Uzbekistan — differ in a number of indicators. The forecast of mental health or psychological well-being of labor migrants intending to stay in Russia is more favorable. A rather high personal level of mental health and adaptation resources are based on a strong potential of activity, ability to achieve definite goals, and capacity to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships. The outcomes of migrants wishing to return to Uzbekistan give us grounds to assume that there exist both threats to their psychological well-being and emergence of psychopathological symptoms. Thus, the forecast of this group’s adaptation appears less favorable. Following up, it is reasonable to sort out some groups at risk among migrants wishing to return to Uzbekistan and develop relevant programs of mental-disorder prevention.
Nonetheless, we consider the status of both groups to be marginal, that, in its turn, undoubtedly affects the process of their adaptation. The latter is an extremely complex process because, even under quite favorable conditions, it includes many attendant factors.
Keywords: labor migrants, adaptation, potential for adaptation, mental health, psychological well-being, attitude, constructiveness, destructiveness, efficiency, life-meaning guidelines
This article examines the exposure of Russian public to reports about ethnic groups in current mainstream Russian media by analyzing the amount of such reports today, as well as results of an online survey (n = 1040) aimed at revealing to what extent the public is indeed exposed to them by the respondents’ own estimations. The survey showed that generally users tend to lack information about ethnicities in mainstream media and demonstrate a certain interest in learning more about other ethnic groups in Russia through media channels. We argue thus that the public’s exposure to information about ethnic issues, although relatively high on a quantitative level (i.e., in terms of the actual number of reports), is lower on a qualitative one (i.e., the share of the respondents who actually come across such reports). The paper also reveals a number of tendencies from analyzing users’ age groups and their regions of living. In general, we believe that singling out both specifics of the public’s exposure to information about ethnicities and the connection between this exposure and the public’s attitudes toward ethnicities (which is planned as the second stage of the current research project) may contribute to better understanding of the effects media can have on their audience in terms of agenda-setting and psychological influence. The current research can also be of interest when discussing the role mass media play in building harmonious relationships between representatives of different ethnic groups in a multiethnic society such as the Russian one.
Keywords: exposure, ethnic groups, mainstream media, audience, Russia
The research in question investigates life-purpose orientations and values of various groups of a population living in a multicultural area with a variety of ethnic and religious communities. Members may have different attitudes to one and the same set of values due to their specific cultural traditions and religious guidelines. A common set of life-purpose orientations and values as well as distinctly different ones were identified in the research. It employed an ethno-psychological questionnaire designed specifically to that end and psychometric instruments aimed at identifying the values of the adults of various ethnic identities and religious affiliations. Residents of a multi-cultural area in the south of Russia who belong to different denominations were surveyed. It is stated that there is a substantial difference between the sets of values held by Baptists and Buddhists and representatives of other ethnic and religious groups (Muslims and Christians) participating in this investigation. The survey found that all of the Baptist and Buddhist respondents were described by a high-to-medium level of civil identity. Indifference to ethnic standards and a failure to accept the culture of their own people were found among all of the respondents; it was displayed by a small proportion of Orthodox Christians, whereas all of the Buddhists under investigation had a positive ethnic identity, and a certain proportion of Muslims and Catholics as well as a tiny proportion of Orthodox believers reported that they placed a priority for ethnic rights over human rights. Among all of the denominations surveyed, the majority of respondents surveyed have a positive attitude towards both their own nation and other nations.
Keywords: axiological sphere of the person, life-purpose orientations, values, ethnic identity and religious affiliation, civil identity, strategy
When acculturation strategies of migrants and acculturation expectations of a host society do not coincide, psychological outcomes for members of the groups in contact can differ significantly. Berry (2013) proposed that intercultural relations can be understood on the basis of three hypotheses: the multiculturalism hypothesis, the integration hypothesis, and the contact hypothesis. Our goal was to test these three hypotheses in Russian majority and Asian minority groups. Migrants from Central Asia (N = 168; 88 ethnic Uzbeks and 80 ethnic Tajiks) and ethnic Russians (N = 158) were surveyed using a self-report questionnaire that included measures developed by the Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies project. Data processing was carried out using Structural Equation Modeling with the Russians and the migrants separately. We found significant and positive relationships between perceived security and multicultural ideology in both groups. We found a positive relationship between intercultural contacts and the integration strategy among the migrants from Central Asia. Intercultural contacts in the group of Russians was positively related to the expectation of integration and negatively related to the expectation of assimilation. The integration strategy of the migrants was positively related to their self-esteem, while the assimilation strategy was positively related to their sociocultural adaptation and life satisfaction. Among the Russians, the integration expectation promoted their better life satisfaction and self-esteem. The multiculturalism hypothesis was partially supported with both the migrants from Central Asia and the Russians: perceived security promoted an acceptance of multicultural ideology but didn’t promote ethnic tolerance. The contact hypothesis was partially supported in both groups: interethnic contacts were positively linked to the integration strategy of the migrants and the integration expectations of the Russians. The integration hypothesis was fully supported in the sample of Russians and partially supported in the sample of migrants. The migrants’ adoption of the assimilation strategy promoted their life satisfaction and sociocultural adaptation.
Keywords: acculturation, adaptation, assimilation, integration, intercultural relations, multiculturalism, well-being
This paper is dedicated to the cultural specificities of three typical collective groups with respect to the representation of love. The research subject focuses on the cross-cultural similarities and differences in how love is conceptualized among highly educated citizens of Brazil (50), Russia (50), and Central Africa (50) (age range 21–60; M = 34). We used “The Classical ideas of love: acceptance and distancing” questionnaire (I.A. Djidaryan, E.V. Belovol, & O.V. Maslova) and the “Directed associations with ‘love’ as the wordstimulus” technique (on the basis of C.G. Jung’s associative experiment and P. Vergès’s methodology).
The results show similarities and differences in how love is represented among the groups. The following similarities were found: Love is seen as all that is good and kind about a person, a way to become better. At the peripheral level, the social representation of love includes friendship, patience, and passion. At the point of cross-cultural differences, it was found that: a) The main emotion reflecting how love is represented for Brazilians is honesty, for Russians — suffering, for Central Africans — tenderness; b) Brazilians understand love as a sensual, personal moral choice; Russians perceive love as an obstacle, a problem in itself; Central Africans conceptualize love as God-given and ennobling of the person; c) love is conceptualized as something inherent and family-oriented among Russians, intrapersonal and intimate among Brazilians, and divine among Central Africans. The results mean that within peripheral confines, the notion of love among the groups matches to a certain extent R. Sternberg’s triangle of love, while its core zone is culturally specific.
Keywords: love representation, cross-cultural specificity, value-semantic aspect of love, love and culture
This article is based on the empirical data gained from a previous study “Ethnic-confessional relations in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in 2011- 2013”. In the mid-nineties in the 20th century, the number of nationalities that were nontypical for the Far East, Siberia and the Far North of Russia began to enlarge, and the trend continues year by year. According to the analysis results, people who migrate are attracted to the republic. The capital of the republic, the industrial cities of Yakutsk, Mirny, and Aldan, as well as the settlements of Niznij Bestyakh of the Megino-Kangalasskij district and Kysyl-Syr of the Viluiskij district, are the center of the migration stream. To define the ethnic and confessional complementariness of the local population, a test-scale by Yu.I Zhegusov was used. The authors of the study refused a simple dichotomous division of ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’, and suggested a more complicated structure. In ethnic-confessional complementariness, the following levels and degrees were used:
On the whole, the research shows some peculiarities:
Russians are mostly comfortable with representatives of other ethnic groups and religions. In Yakutia, they feel confident in the context of ethnic and migration process intensification.
Yakuts show an alarmist public mood and worry about their future, and they are afraid of losing their ethnic status and national identity as a result of the uncontrollable process of migration and assimilation.
Keywords: ethnicity, complimentarity, nationalism, Russia, Yakutia
This article examines intercultural relations in Kabardino-Balkaria. Among a great number of ethnic groups living in Kabardino-Balkaria, Kabardians and Balkars are one of the largest (they are so-called titular ethnic groups). Russians are the second largest of the ethnic groups after Kabardians. We report here the results of an empirical study of the intercultural relations, mutual acculturation, and adaptation of Kabardians and Balkars (N = 285) and Russians (N = 249). Specifically, we examine the relevance of three hypotheses formulated to understand intercultural relations: the multiculturalism hypothesis, the integration hypothesis, and the contact hypothesis. We conducted path analysis in AMOS with two samples: a sample of Russians and a sample of the two main ethnic groups (Kabardians and Balkars), and we further compared the path models with each other. The results revealed significant effects of security, intercultural contacts, multicultural ideology, acculturation strategies, and acculturation expectations on attitudes, life satisfaction, and self-esteem in both samples. These findings partially confirm the three hypotheses in both groups. However, we also identified a regionally specific pattern. We found that, in the Russian sample, the integration strategy was negatively related to wellbeing, while contact with the dominant ethnic group was positively related to well-being. At the same time, in the sample of Kabardians and Balkars, acculturation expectations of integration and assimilation were positively related to well-being. In the article, we discuss these regional specifics.
Keywords: acculturation strategies, acculturation expectations, intercultural contact, intercultural relations, multicultural ideology, life satisfaction, perceived security, perceived discrimination, perceived threat, ethnic tolerance
The project Mutual Intercultural Research in Plural Societies was designed to examine three hypotheses of intercultural relations: the multiculturalism hypothesis, the integration hypothesis, and the contact hypothesis. These hypotheses were derived from the Canadian multiculturalism policy (Berry, 1984), and their validity has been assessed in a number of countries. Our goal was to evaluate these hypotheses in Russia (Moscow) and Latvia (Riga). We used sociopsychological surveys of two dominant groups (Russian Muscovites and Latvians in Riga) and two nondominant groups (migrants from the Caucasus in Moscow and the Russian minority in Riga) employing structural equation modeling. A sense of perceived security promoted tolerance toward other cultural groups in three of the samples. Perceived security was related significantly to multicultural ideology in Riga, but there was no significant relationship to multicultural ideology in the Moscow samples. A preference for the integration strategy among the migrants in Moscow as well as among the Russians in Latvia promoted their better sociocultural adaptation and had a significant impact on the life satisfaction of the Muscovites but had no impact on the Latvian sample in Riga. Our results provided some support for the effect of intercultural contact on the acceptance of others in three of the groups: the migrants in Moscow, the Russian minority in Riga, and the dominant group in Moscow. However, among the Russians in Riga, the relationship between contacts and perceived security was negative. The multiculturalism hypothesis was confirmed with the dominant group in Riga and was partly confirmed with both the dominant and the nondominant groups in Moscow and with the Russian minority in Riga. The contact hypothesis received partial support with both groups in Moscow and the Russian minority in Riga but was not confirmed with the Latvians in Riga. There was partial support for the role of the integration strategy in promoting sociocultural adaptation and well-being among the migrants in Moscow and the Muscovites. These findings require additional analysis of the sociopolitical and historical context in Latvia in order to understand the psychological outcomes of acculturation among the Russian minority there.
Keywords: integration, multiculturalism, acculturation strategies/expectations, intercultural contact, intercultural relations, multicultural ideology, life satisfaction, perceived security, tolerance
This article examines intercultural relations in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (RNO-A). The research is based on the theory of acculturation of J. Berry and uses the hypotheses and measures developed in the Mutual Intercultural Relations in Plural Societies project. The RNO-A is the most favorable place for Russians living in the North Caucasus because attitudes toward the Russian minority in the RNO-A are not discriminatory. Our goal was to test three hypotheses in the RNO-A: the multiculturalism hypothesis, the integration hypothesis, and the contact hypothesis. We conducted a sociopsychological survey. The sample included members of the ethnic majority, the Ossetians (N= 318), and members of the ethnic minority, the Russians (N= 327). Data processing was carried out using structural equation modeling (SEM) separately for the ethnic minority and for the ethnic majority, and the models were compared with each other. The results show that perceived security among the Russians (the ethnic minority) as well as among the Ossetians (the ethnic majority) promoted support for a multicultural ideology, tolerance, and mutual integration. The number and frequency of friendly intercultural contacts had a positive and significant impact on a preference for integration among both the Ossetians and the Russians. An integration strategy and the expectation of integration promoted life satisfaction in both groups. Because the results of the study confirmed all three hypotheses, we conclude that interethnic relations between the Russians and the Ossetians in the RNO-A are based on the principles of multiculturalism.
Keywords: intercultural relations, acculturation, ethnic majority, ethnic minority, multiculturalism, intercultural contact, integration
Multiculturalism is an increasingly common characteristic of contemporary societies. In culturally diverse social contexts, virtually every person experiences intercultural contact on a daily basis. It is essential to understand that there must be both cultural diversity and equity in social participation for true multiculturalism to exist in these settings. Beyond its core definition, it is clear that multiculturalism is a complex concept encompassing many dimensions and meanings. First, the term is understood to describe a demographic fact, indicating the existence of cultural diversity in a society. Second, multiculturalism refers to the policies and programs that are in place to manage intercultural relations and acculturation. Third, multiculturalism refers to psychological phenomena, including individual attitudes and ideologies that accept or reject the demographic, civic and policy features of multiculturalism. This chapter considers Canadian multiculturalism policy, examining how the multiple meanings of multiculturalism vary around the world. Within this framework, I highlight the psychological processes and outcomes of multiculturalism, particularly in connection with acculturation, adaptation and intercultural relations and consider whether these processes and outcomes differ for dominant and non-dominant groups. I suggest some ways in which to enhance the positive outcomes of intercultural contact and the resultant acculturation outcomes. Finally, this chapter sets the stage for the presentation of the other chapters in this volume. It elaborates three hypotheses derived from Canadian multiculturalism policy: the multiculturalism, integration and contact hypotheses.
Keywords: integration, multiculturalism, acculturation strategies, expectations, intercultural contact
The importance of success in cross-cultural communication in the modern world is growing every day. However, because of the lack of a coherent methodological framework and common terminology, there is eclecticism in the practical concepts of successful intercultural communication. This article presents the integration of Russian and western social-psychological knowledge and creates a model of the ethno-cultural competence. Thus, in accordance with Russian social psychology, the socio-perceptive, communicative and interactive aspects of ethno-cultural communication are allocated and described. The three-part model of ethno-cultural competence, which includes cognitive, behavioral and motivational factors, was operationalized in order to become a base for standardized training programs to increase ethnic and cultural competence.
Keywords: ethno-cultural competence, intercultural communication, social-per¬ceptive, communicative and interactive components of ethno-cultural compe¬tence, competency model of ethno-cultural communication