Presentations (Communicative Events)

Situating America’s Russian-speaking Refugees and Immigrants: Transnational and National Disciplinary Contexts

Kasinitz, Philip

Kasinitz will discuss the place of contemporary (that is, 1980) Russian speaking migration to the United States in the context of the larger changes in the American immigration scene. We will compare this migration to previous Russian speaking migrations, in terms of their cultural impacts, the context of reception in the US and their continuing transnational ties to communities in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere (i.e. Israel, Germany, etc.). Particular attention will be paid to the Russian speaking immigrant’s relationships with older, settled populations, particularly American Jews, as well as how the ways in which contemporary Russian migrants negotiate ethnic and cultural identity is distinct from yet also influenced by other contemporary migrant/exile groups (e.g., Latinos and Asians). We will review recent evidence on the question of cultural and ethnic identity among the new second generation—that is the children of Russian speaking immigrants now coming of age in the US. Most importantly, we will discuss the ways in which sociological approaches can contribute to our understandings of the group’s social, economic, political and cultural incorporation into US society as well as what an understanding of this group can contribute to transnational migration studies and diasporic studies.

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Harriman Institute
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September 20, 2013