Cultural Values Of Central Asia Migrants And The Region’s Social Development

Abstract

An instituted migration system exists between Russia and the countries of Central Asia. It is confirmed by large-scale migration flows and their stable geographic orientation. The problem of migrants' cultural values is of particular interest because of the scale of migration and the impact that migration flows can have on the culture of the host community. The growth of external migration on the territory of the South Ural region of the Russian Federation draws the attention of scientists to this problem. The methodological basis of the research is the theoretical approach to measuring the values of Schwartz and the cross-cultural approach to the study of the characteristics of different cultures. According to the data obtained, the high importance of all values is expressed among migrants, compared with respondents from Russia. The most significant values for the representatives of Central Asia are kindness and security, which consist of the desire to maintain and improve the well-being of loved ones, in the desire to satisfy the need for security and stability, reduce uncertainty and increase the predictability of events. The revealed features of the system of cultural values of migrants in the context of the region's social development make it possible to fit the results of the conducted cross-cultural research into the ethnopsychological area of knowledge. This contributes to the creation of a theoretical basis for solving applied problems of socio-psychological support for adaptation and integration of migrants and assessing the cultural effect of integration of migrants into the host community.

Keywords: Cultural valuescross-cultural researchmigrant

Introduction

Population migration is a complex natural social process that is gaining more and more widespread throughout the world. The state's migration policy's task is to help resolve the problems of adaptation and subsequent integration of migrants. The adaptation of a migrant consists in assimilating patterns of behavior, social norms, and values, knowledge, skills that allow him to exist and operate successfully in the host society. The integration of a migrant presupposes his inclusion in the social, legal, and cultural relations of the host society as a full and permanent member. Integration needs to obtain the right of a migrant to temporarily or permanently reside in the country and obtain citizenship from the host country (Bieda et al., 2017); (Grigoryev et al., 2020). Adaptation and integration interconnected in stages: only a foreign migrant who has successfully adapted to the social, cultural, economic, and legal realities of the host society can gradually integrate into the local community in the course of his life and become its full member (Hiemstra et al., 2017); (Holtug, 2017).

The growth of external migration on the territory of the South Ural region of the Russian Federation draws the attention of scientists to this problem. Over the past decade, the majority of foreign migrants (labor, educational, and those who come for permanent residence) are representatives of Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan (Mukomel, 2017).

Despite the closeness of the cultures of the post-Soviet space's countries, the settlers forced to adapt the current Russia conditions, to the conditions of a particular region and settlement, to the pace and characteristics of the life of citizens of the host community. Cultural differences between the home country and Russia also lie in the differences in values and traditions. A new social environment, a different ethnocultural and linguistic environment, different values and norms of relationships in society, different requirements for the organization of activities, and uncontrolled stressful events associated with the move can cause difficulties in the adaptation process. At this stage of life, it is crucial not only to adapt to new living conditions but also to preserve the "I." (Hermans et al., 2017); (Morrice, 2017); (Russo-Netzer et al., 2019).

Problem Statement

Studying the ethnocultural characteristics of foreign citizens in the process of social inclusion in the host community will help build a strategy for the effective adaptation and integration of migrants. It will also contribute to the preservation of the migrant's own ethnic identity and cultural values (Donohue, 2020); (Jing et al., 2020). Due to personal, psychological, and social characteristics, migrants are subject to emotional distress, which, as a result, leads to a psychological crisis (Mukhametshina, 2019). One of the manifestations of this crisis is maladjustment and loss of values (Tittler et al., 2020). It is important to emphasize that the consequences of the maladjustment of a migrant can be such social phenomena as ethnic nationalism, religious conflicts, loss of national and cultural identity, which in general leads to global political and economic crises, the vulnerability of people, a decrease in their subjective well-being, the level of happiness and satisfaction with the life of citizens of different countries (Grigoryev et al., 2020); (Suslova, 2016). The problem of migrants' cultural values is of particular interest, because of the scale of migration flows, the impact that migration can have on the culture of the host community, and the success of adaptation and subsequent integration of migrants.

Research Questions

In a uncertainty situation when entering a new culture, accompanied by confusion in values, the study of the cultural values of migrants acquires particular relevance in order to provide further targeted assistance in adapting to the value system of the host community, which will contribute to more successful adaptation in new living conditions, as well as a decrease the process of interethnic tension.

Purpose of the Study

The study aims to identify the cultural values of migrants from Central Asia.

Research Methods

The methodological basis of the research is the theoretical approach to measuring the values of Sh. Schwartz and the cross-cultural approach to the study of the characteristics of different cultures. As research methods, we used a questionnaire for collecting data on social indicators of respondents, Schwartz's method for studying personality values (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1990), descriptive statistics, and a mathematical method for comparing samples, the Mann-Whitney U-test. The study involved 224 people; among them 151 are citizens of the Russian Federation permanently residing in its territory, and 73 are migrants from Central Asian countries.

Findings

Values are an essential basis for building a life scenario, choosing strategies for professional and personal self-determination (Schwartz & Bilsky, 1990). A stable and consistent system of values allows preserving the integrity of the personality during the problematic stage of adaptation of a migrant to a new socio-cultural environment. The migrants forced to master new social norms and rules, finding himself in different living conditions. However, a complete rejection of their own beliefs and values can negatively affect adaptation and subsequent integration (Tittler et al., 2020). The disharmony of the structure of values contributes to a negative perception of the current situation, a feeling of loneliness, helplessness, and a sense of uselessness by migrants (Ponomareva et al., 2019). In this regard, we have studied the values of migrants from Central Asia and citizens of the Russian Federation. Table 1 shows the average values of the value indicators.

Table 1 -
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Among citizens of Russia and migrants from Central Asia, the most pronounced values are kindness and security, according to the obtained data. Besides, the value of independence is significant for migrants. The value of kindness presupposes the preservation and enhancement of the well-being of loved ones, benevolence in everyday interaction with people with whom the individual is in close contact. For a person who has expressed the value of kindness, it is essential to be helpful, honest, and condescending to their family and friends. The safety value's motivational goal is to strive for stability, reduce uncertainty, and increase the predictability of events and phenomena that occur, which helps to reduce anxiety and emotional discomfort. The value of independence presupposes the individual's desire for independence of thought, choice of methods of action, for the manifestation of activity, conditioned by the subject's need to be autonomous and independent. So, finding himself in another country, a migrant seeks positive interaction with loved ones to preserve and increase the well-being of the group and shows his independence, which allows him to adapt to new conditions to a greater extent.

It is also important to note that among migrants, indicators of all values are higher than among Russian citizens. We explain this fact by the peculiarities of the studied region. Thus, more than 20 representatives of different nationalities live on the territory of the South Ural region; most of them are Russians, Bashkirs, and Tatars, which leaves its mark on the cultural and value characteristics of people. In order to confirm the differences in values, we carried out a comparative analysis of the indicators of values among citizens of Russia and migrants from Central Asia. The results presents in Table 2 .

Table 2 -
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Significant differences founded in the groups of citizens of Russia and migrants of Central Asia in all values. These differences are highly significant and indicate that the value perceptions of the subjects from Russia significantly differ from the value perceptions of the respondents from Central Asia. Values act as an intrapersonal resource that helps migrants adapt to cope with the feeling of their helplessness. A look at the problem of adaptation of migrants in the context of the social development of the region, the identified features of the system of cultural values of migrants helps to fit the results of the cross-cultural study into the ethnopsychological area of knowledge, create a theoretical basis for solving applied problems of socio-psychological support of adaptation and integration of migrants, describe the cultural effect of integration of migrants into the host community.

Conclusion

The migrant was forced to abandon his usual way of life, master other social norms, and rules that regulate behavior in society and find himself in an environment different from his native culture. Confusion in value orientations arising in a situation of uncertainty can lead to difficulties in the adaptation process. The most pronounced value in research results is kindness, which implies the maintenance and improvement of people's well-being in close relationships. Building friendly relationships allow the migrant student to meet their needs for positive interaction and affiliation. With a stable formed system of values, a migrant will be able to adapt more successfully to a new socio-cultural environment, avoid a state of helplessness, to rely on his resources, one of which is values.

As a prospect for further research, we can note the possibility of studying the relationship of helplessness and values at different stages of adaptation of migrants. It is also planned to conduct a comparative analysis of the peculiarities of adaptation and personal characteristics of educational and labor migrants, followed by the development of practical recommendations for psychologists working with different categories of migrants.

Acknowledgments

The reported study was funded by RFBR according to the research project № 19-013-00949 А.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

16.04.2021

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2021.04.32

Online ISSN

2357-1330