FSD3315 Ingrian-Finnish Remigrants 2008-2013

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  • Jasinskaja-Lahti, Inga (University of Helsinki. Faculty of Social Sciences)
  • Renvik, Tuuli Anna (University of Helsinki. Open University)


cultural identity, discrimination, employment, immigration, minority groups, participation, second languages, social adjustment

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The study examined Ingrian-Finnish remigrants and their social adjustment in Finland. Main themes included, among others, the respondents' motives for moving from Russia to Finland, integration into Finnish society, social well-being, and perceptions of Finnish and Russian culture and values. The data consist of four surveys conducted between 2008 and 2013. The study follows the same remigrants throughout the surveys, and the first survey was conducted in Russia before the respondents moved to Finland. Some questions were repeated, although not always identically, in the four surveys. The surveys were conducted in Russian, but the data are in Finnish and English. Because the data do not contain all questions included in the questionnaire, only the questions included in the data are described here.

The first three surveys were conducted as part of the INPRES (Intervening at the pre-migration stage: Providing tools for promoting integration and adaptation) research project and the fourth survey was conducted as part of the LADA (The Long-Term Adaptation of Diaspora Migrants) research project. The aim of the projects was to study pre- and post-migration factors involved in the long-term adaptation of ethnic re-migrants from Russia to Finland. Both research projects were funded by the Academy of Finland.

In the first survey, which was the most extensive out of the four surveys, the motives for the respondents' prospective move to Finland (e.g. aspiration to secure children's future, will to live in the country of their ancestors, concerns regarding financial circumstances, will to live with relatives residing in Finland) as well as with whom they were planning to move were charted. The respondents' sources of information regarding Finland and Finnish society, for example, relatives/friends, Finnish language teachers, authorities or the media, as well as whether they had received support from the same sources were surveyed. Finally, the first survey charted whether the respondents had learned Finnish and for how long.

In the four surveys, question sets charting the respondents' values, attitudes and prejudices against Finns and Russians were repeated. Several character trait descriptions were presented to the respondents, and they were asked to evaluate how well the descriptions fit a typical Finn, a typical Russian or them personally. The character trait descriptions included various themes, such as the importance of wealth, willingness to draw attention or take risks, devotion to friends, and importance of tradition.

The respondents' social activity and participation in Finland were also charted from the second survey onwards with recurring questions on, for example, whether they spoke Russian/Finnish at home or with friends, read books in Russian/Finnish, and participated in different events. In the fourth survey, political activity was surveyed with questions on whether the respondents followed political discussion, voted and participated in collective activity. Additionally, other recurring questions in the surveys examined, for example, the respondents' satisfaction in their decision to move, their social networks and language skills, the stressfulness of the move as well as general information on the respondents' health and well-being.

The respondents' sociodemographic background information was charted thoroughly in this study. Among other things, they were asked about their family, housing arrangements, employment situation, religious affiliation, religiosity and education. Background variables included, among others, the respondent's age (categorised), gender, marital status, financial circumstances, and economic activity and occupational status.

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