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Ethnicity, Migration and Integration

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
1-й курс, 3, 4 модуль


Course Syllabus


The course suggests a mosaic of theoretical approaches, introductory facts, scholarly research results and assignments of different types that altogether serve an introduction to the phenomena of ethnicity, migration and integration of migrants. According to the basic idea, which brings together these phenomena and is stressed throughout the course, migrations produce ethnicity through the integration process. The course is divided into three equal parts which cover each of the phenomena separately, while the closing part of the course binds them together through special assignments. As the outcome of the course, students will be able to analyze ethnicity, migration and integration on the basis of contemporary scholarly theoretical and empirical approaches; to critically assess information on these topics; to undertake their own empirical research. The course will consist of lectures, seminars and assignments of different kinds. Each meeting includes one lecture and one seminar. The course is based on a scope of international literature as well as on the wide-scale empirical research of the author of the course.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To introduce contemporary approaches and debates in the field of ethnicity, migration and migrants’ integration research to students
  • To provide students with tools for analyzing ethnicity, migration and integration in contemporary world
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • to know the main tenets of essentialism and constructivism in the studies of ethnic phenomena
  • to be able to do empirical research of ethnicity in local contexts to know the main definitions of migration and their limitations
  • to know the contemporary critique of the sedentarist approach to migration to be able to interpret the world history as a history of migrations
  • to know main facts about migration in the world and in Russia to have the skill of interviewing people about their migration experience
  • to know the main theories of migration
  • to know the contexts in which different concepts which describe relations and interrelations between migrants and locals got developed
  • to know the aspects of integration
  • to be able to build research on each of the aspects of integration as well as to build interconnections between them in a research design
  • to be able to recognize the concepts studied in a variety of materials including policy documents, articles in the media, fictional literature, movies, etc.
  • to be able to synthesize the phenomena of ethnicity, migration and integration in an analysis
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to the course, the concept of ethnicity, essentialism vs. constructivism
    The first meeting of the course will include the ‘rules of the game’ description, the lecture ‘Ethnicity? What is it all about?’, as well as the explanation of the main tenets of the scholarly debate between essentialists and constructivists. As a result, students will understand that there is no actual debate between these two parties, because the main proponent of the essentialist position is the common sense. The article ‘Ethnicity without Groups’ by Rogers Brubaker will be discussed at the seminar.
  • From sociology to anthropology and back: the history of the constructivist approach
    During the second meeting the constructivist approach to ethnicity will be discussed in more detail. This approach will be traced from its roots in sociology (E.Durkheim, E.Goffman, P.Berger), through its emergence in anthropology (F.Barth, Manchester School), to its reconceptualization in contemporary sociology (R.Brubaker, A.Wimmer). Along with that, approaches to the empirical inquiry on ethnicity will be discussed and several research designs will be analyzed for that reason. As the main outcome students will master a simple scheme which allows to study local constructions of ethnicity through a variety of contexts. At the seminar students will apply the auto-ethnography approach to the local constructions of ethnicity in their childhood. A written essay on the same topic will be the home assignment for the third meeting.
  • Constructivist approach to ethnicity – further applications and current state of affairs
    The third meeting will be devoted to further applications and limitations of the constructivist approach. Keeping in mind that this approach is a scientific paradigm which gradually replaces the previous one, students will learn about a variety of studies, which go in line with constructivist approach towards ethnicity, although they cover some neighboring topics, such as race, nationalism, religion, etc. Among the research to be discussed is the famous ‘making of a kilt’ (H.Trevor-Roper), ‘making of the Crimean Karaite identity’ (M.Kizilov, D.Mikhailova), a research within ‘whiteness studies’ on Chinese of the Mississippi delta (J. Loewen), etc. The course author’s studies of ethnicity construction in local museums as well as the interconnection between ethnicity and migration in local communities in rural Armenia complete the meeting and build bridge to the ‘migration’ block of the course. The seminar part of the meeting will be the research brainstorming, the outcome of which will be a set of possible research topics for the final essay with optional research designs.
  • Migration beyond sedentarism
    The opening of the second block of the course will be devoted to conceptualizations of migration, their main failures, and to the approaches, which allow to go beyond these failures. Namely, the session will cover the roots and the consequences of the sedentarist view on migration, which limits both the scholarship and the decision-makers. The main responses to sedentarism, such as transnationalism and sociology of mobilities, will be discussed in detail. The lecture will continue with a seminar where a movie ‘Brooklyn’ (J.Corwley) will be analyzed in respect to transnational practices of the main character.
  • Micro- and macro- approaches toward migration
    The second meeting of the ‘migration’ block will touch upon two main approaches toward migration, which are the micro- and the macro- ones. The students will learn the vocabulary of each of the approaches, study the advantages and limitations of each as well as discuss relevant research. Basing on the combination of two approaches, the migration situation in three countries (Australia, UAE and Russia) will be discussed. The seminar will be a practicum of interviewing. The students will split into pairs and interview each other on migration experience and local construction of ethnicity at each stage. The home assignment will be the summary of this interview.
  • Theories of migration
    The final meeting of the migration block will be devoted to theories of migration. What questions do scholars ask about migration, and using what concepts do they respond to them? The lecture part of the meeting will be covering the changes of the styles of theorizing in migration studies. We’ll go through the ‘Laws of Migration’ by E. Ravenstein, ‘Migration Theory’ by E. Lee, relative deprivation theory by O. Stark as well as some very recent theories, and compare them. The seminar part is the exploration of the paper “Why Does Immigration Occur” by D. Massey.
  • Conceptualizations and discourses on integration
    The first meeting of the integration block will begin with making sense of a diversity of concepts used in the field, including assimilation, integration, inclusion, acculturation and many others. Students will learn that these concepts do not form a coherent conceptual scheme, instead they mean the same things in different conceptual and linguistic contexts. The brief history of such contexts in the US, Europe and Russia will be described. Further, a scheme which describes different aspects of integration (H.Esser, F.Heckmann) will be introduced. The last section of the lecture will be devoted to the theories of integration mainly covering the transition from the straight-line (R.Park, M.Gordon) to the segmented (A.Portes, R.Rumbaut) approach. The seminar part will be the discussion of the paper ‘The New Second Generation: Segmented Assimilation and its Variants’ by A.Portes and M.Zhou.
  • How to do research on integration?
    The second meeting of the block will be devoted to the ways of researching integration through empirical studies. Basing on the scheme of integration discussed during the previous meeting we’ll embrace studies on different aspects of integration. A study of second-generation migrants in Russia, which covers all aspects of integration from the scheme will be introduced. The lecture will be followed by a research seminar where students, divided into groups, will develop a research design as an answer to a particular research question.
  • Characteristics of migrants’ settlement as a predictor of integration
    The last topic of the course will cover the patterns of migrants’ settlement in different contexts. What do we generally know about the settlement-integration nexus from scholarship? How migrants settle in different countries? How do residential concentrations of migrants get formed in different economic and political contexts? What are the peculiarities of the Russian case of migrants’ settlement? How is settlement of migrants interconnected with their integration? The results of the recent wide-scale study undertaken by the course author will be presented and discussed. At the seminar the book ‘Godfather’ by M.Puzo will be discussed in respect to ethnicity, migration and integration patterns described there.
  • Mini-conference on projects of the final essays
    During the last meeting a mini-conference will be held where students are to present the projects of the final paper of the course. Each student will make a 10-minute presentation of the project which will be followed with a 5-minute discussion (with other students participating in it), which allows to enhance the quality of the potential paper.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Final paper
    The final paper should be a research paper 2500-3500 words in length; it should be devoted to one of the topics covered in the course
  • non-blocking Reading and watching seminars
    Students read an article, a book or watch a movie in advance and discuss it in class
  • non-blocking Research seminars
    Students either hold an interview or suggest their own research design on a topic or make a presentation of their final paper
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.6 * Final paper + 0.2 * Reading and watching seminars + 0.2 * Research seminars


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • !Hola, amigos!, Jarvis, A. C., Lebredo, R., 2004
  • "Воспроизводство себе подобных" в российских университетах первой половины XIX века : препринт, Вишленкова Е.А., Ильина К.А., 2011
  • "Детская конституция": как, опираясь на законы, действенно защищать права детей, Тарасенкова А.Н., 2005

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • "The Russian question" at the end of the twentieth century, Solzhenitsyn, A., Solzhenitsyn, Y., 1995
  • "Кто, что я?" : Толстой в своих дневниках, письмах, воспоминаниях, трактатах, Паперно, И., 2018