“Russian-Speaking Economy Abroad” as an Instrument for Adaptation of Migrants


The current article aims to confirm and conceptualize existence of the “Russian-speaking economy abroad”. This term covers the system of economic institutions and relations, built upon the use of Russian language, which is its main integrative factor and a major pillar for development of its components. Its primary objectives are related to the needs of the Russian-speaking migrants as well as to the trade, investment and tourist ties between their host country and Russia. The current article is based on a broad empirical research, using qualitative methods (such as deep interviews with migrants and experts), based on materials collected by authors in several sociological expeditions to multiple countries. The article describes political and economic aspects of integration of Russian-speaking migrants in host countries through the mechanisms of Russian-speaking economy. Building upon interviews and study of the local press, it discloses the processes of adaptation of migrants through the Russian-speaking sectors of local labor markets abroad. The scale of Russian-speaking economy in a particular country depend on the number of people using Russian language in their daily lives in it, as well as from the number of tourists. Although, Russian-speaking population most of the times does not create geographically localized areas of habilitation, the few existing examples of such areas provide the most vivid examples of Russianspeaking economy. Therefore, the article focuses on three cases: Brighton Beach in New York (the United States), Pattaya and Phuket (Thailand) and Nachang and Vungtau (Vietnam). They enable to identify major institutions of the Russian-speaking economy. Using these and other examples the article systematize the patterns of integration of Russian-speaking migrants in host countries through the channels of Russian-speaking economy. It also proves that existence of this economic system promotes migration from Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union.


Russian-speaking economy; emigration; Russia; Post-Soviet space; diaspora; Russian-speaking communities; adaptations; integration.

Authors: Sergey Ryazantsev. Elena Pismennaya

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