Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Migration as an Indicator of People's Social and Psychological Stability (as Exemplified in the Pskov Region)

Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Migration as an Indicator of People's Social and Psychological Stability (as Exemplified in the Pskov Region)

Article excerpt

Introduction

Migration continues to be one of the most pressing and difficult issues in global society and in Russian society in particular. Places of military, political, and economic instability face economic problems, the destruction of a traditional way of life, growing tensions, and people's uncertainty in regard to the future. All these factors facilitate the growth of migration flows.

The academic corpus of literature contains numerous works on migration. The first academic definition of migration was given by Ravenstein (1985, p. 168).

[Migration is] a permanent or a temporary change of place of residence by a person; [this is] a continuous process depending on the interactions among four main groups of factors. They are factors that influence a migrant's initial place (country) of residence; factors that influence the stage of a migrant's move; factors that influence a migrant's destination (country); factors of a personal nature, which include, primarily, a system of personal preferences, a totality of personal demographic characteristics.

Most articles about migration refer to the acculturation of migrants and acculturation modeling (Berry, 1992; Khrustaleva, 1996; Gurieva, Kinunen, 2006; Pavlenko, 2001); the ethnic identity of migrants (Gurieva & Kinunen, 2006; Lebedeva, 2001; Pavlenko, 2001; Stefanenko, 1999); the dynamics of migration and adaptation issues (Belinskaya & Stefanenko, 2000; Hutnik & Barrett, 2003; Jasinskaja-Lahti, 2000; Schwartz, 1992), along with many other aspects of migration. however, there are significantly fewer articles on the psychology of potential migrants (Gurieva &Kinunen, 2010; Liebkind, 2001; Mirsky, 2001; Tartakovsky, 2007; Zilber & Lerner, 1996). There are no social, psychological, or sociological articles that compare different types of potential and actual migrants or forced and voluntary migrants or that identify migrants' common and specific characteristics depending on the environment of their place of residence in a single administrative entity within the boundaries of the single environment of the Russian Federation.

In today's ever-changing Russian society, there have been changes not only in the types and direction of migration but also in the characteristics of the migration processes: conditions and types of migration, social and psychological characteristics of migrants, factors determining their successful adaptation and acculturation, their motivation, their features, and many other social, demographic, and psychological characteristics. Therefore, the issues that have been researched are not the kinds of migration, their stages and types, for example, but, instead, the main causes of migration. For example, ethnic migration is known to be a con- sequence of interethnic conflicts, ethnic tensions, ethnic discrimination, and lost social and cultural identity by a certain part of the population. Labor migration can be a consequence of a deep economic crisis, social and economic instability, lost jobs, and increasing poverty and unemployment within a complex political situation in general.

Migration can take two forms: forced and voluntary. The most difficult for regulation are forced forms, as they have a spontaneous and massive character; they transform the existing structure of the society. Voluntary migration is generally the more regulated process. It is neither massive, nor natural; it is partially distributed in time. With voluntary migration, structural components of the society survive instead of being transformed (Table 1).

[Table omitted, see PDF.]

Migration as both the internal and the external relocation of people should be regulated, controlled, instead of being a spontaneous social phenomenon. In each area, as the survey of locals has shown, there are predictors of internal and external migration that we need to be aware of in order to anticipate and manage complex migration flows. There are three key factors in the migration patterns of Pskov Region residents: (1) unemployment, no jobs against a background of destroyed industrial infrastructure; (2) psychological dissatisfaction, depressed mood (no facilities for leisure, relaxation, family pastimes; lack of careers and prospects for the future); (3) social isolation, poorly developed infrastructure: seasonal isolation, lack of road networks, difficulties getting to hospitals, schools, clinics. …

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