Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Migration as a Social Problem

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Migration as a Social Problem

Article excerpt


This article analyzes psychological problems of migrants and migration as a process. Using the method of the survey revealed some features of the attitude of Muscovites and residents of Moscow region towards migrants. The study which purpose was to identify the views of the indigenous population about the migratory situation in the city of Moscow and the Moscow region is described. The study involved 235 people aged 24 to 60 who were asked to answer 56 questions of socio-psychological questionnaire. Results of the study demonstrate the collective frustration and inner tension of the Muscovites and residents of the Moscow region, which shows the prevalence of intolerance among indigenous population to visitors from other countries, expressed in rejection of "foreigners".

Negative attitude towards migrants reflects pendency of many social and economic problems of the inhabitants of the host country (region, city), the solution of which will help to reduce the migration phobia and formation of acceptance, respect and tolerance for each other among the indigenous population and migrants, that will allow them to live together within a single living space.

Keywords: migrant, tolerance, psychological problems of migration and migrants, adaptability/ne-adaptability, social stress, migrant-phobia

1. Introduction

21th century is the era of unprecedented human migrations at the international level, leading to significant changes at the global landscape and on the composition of the population over all countries and continents. These changes will inevitably have the most serious challenges to the existing order of things.

The key role of migration in the ongoing and expected changes makes us to talk about migration challenge as an important independent part of this broader, multi level challenge.

According to the report of the International Organization for Migration, the number of international migrants in 2010 was 214 million people (3.1% of the world population). If the growth of this indicator would remain at the same rate, it will reach 405 million in the 2050s (Rerkins, Palmer, & García-Ramírez, 2011).

In situation of migration each migrant is faced with various problems: problems of social and domestic arrangement, employment opportunities; need of learning the language, legal, moral, social and cultural norms. Difficulties occur in adopting values and behaviors inherent in the new environment. There are certain difficulties in establishing the interaction with others, both in business and interpersonal contact (Efremova, Nesterova, Suslova, & Pavlova, 2015).

Social and psychological adaptation of migrants is a complex, multifaceted, long-term process. Its success depends on many factors. Foremost is formation of the ability to actively change personality traits, skills, self-transformation, self-correction and self-development.

To understand the character of the social integration of migrants, it is important to research the system of relations between migrants and indigenous (host) population. Attitude towards migrants, the ratio of different cultural attitudes and the ability to take foreign mentality cause many problems.

Many studies argue that attitudes toward migrants depend on the number of people arriving to the country or region (Chandler & Tsai, 2001; Demidova & Paas, 2014; Espenshade & Hempstead, 1996; Kehrberg, 2007; McLaren, 2003; Mayda, 2006; Nesterova & Suslova, 2014; O'Rourke & Sinnott, 2006; Paas & Halapuu, 2012).

Attitudes towards migrants affect the size of migration flows, arriving in the region or country. Also the nature of personal contact with migrants is important. A large number of migrants in the region increases the perception of the danger of the indigenous population, so a casual meeting with immigrants increases the negative attitude towards them. But on the other hand, personal contact with migrants increases tolerance (people are becoming to better know each other, it reduces the illusion of "social threat"). …

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