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The Russian Second Generation in Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve

The Russian Second Generation in Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve: The TIES Study in Estonia

Raivo Vetik
Jelena Helemäe
Series: IMISCOE Reports
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    The Russian Second Generation in Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve
    Book Description:

    Second-generation Russians face two major integration challenges in the Estonian cities of Tallinn and Kohtla-Järve. They are segregated from an Estonian language society whose historical background lies in the policies and social processes of the former Soviet Union. And, compared to their peers, they face an emerging disparity in social and economic opportunities. Such inequality comes largely as the result of newly formed, post-independence institutions, which incite protest among young Russians. With a potential to escalate into large-scale conflict, as exemplified by the Bronze Soldier crisis in April 2007, it is crucial to learn more about this dissatisfaction and the generation in whom it is found. As the second country report of the TIES Project (Towards the Integration of the European Second Generation), this volume sheds light on how various factors can impact integration and how actors can use socio-economic and cultural resources in their adaptation process - in Estonia and beyond. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1288-1
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 7-8)
    Raivo Vetik
  4. List of tables, figures and chapter appendices
    (pp. 9-12)
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 13-26)
    Raivo Vetik and Jelena Helemäe

    Interethnic relations in Estonia present a puzzle for studies of immigrant integration. One trend in the literature argues that the historical need to define the position of the Estonian nation vis-à-vis the position of the new Russian minority in the country has accelerated the transformation of Estonia from an ethnic nation to a modern civic nation (Lauristin & Heidmets 2002). The other much more critical trend in the literature maintains that the influence of the legal-restorationist concept, adopted by ethnic Estonian elites at the beginning of the 1990s, continuously reinforces interethnic alienation in Estonia (Brosig 2008). This trend is bolstered by...

  6. 2 Migration patterns
    (pp. 27-38)
    Nastja Sokolova

    Russians form the largest minority group in Estonia, constituting 26 per cent of the total population. Although some Russians have lived in the territory for centuries, the majority of today’s Russian population came to Estonia during the last 60 years. The current chapter seeks to describe Russian migration patterns to and within Estonia during this period. It also summarises the 2000 population census statistics with regard to several key measures relevant in the context of this volume, as well as offering an overview of the TIES project data basic descriptive statistics.

    During the first independence period (1918-1940), Estonia was a...

  7. 3 Integration policies
    (pp. 39-58)
    Raivo Vetik

    This chapter discusses integration policies in Estonia. The introduction outlines the main lines of the debate on Estonian integration policies in academic literature. The second section specifies the main challenges of generic integration policy in Estonia, as compared to other integration policies in countries in Europe countries facing similar issues. The third section is devoted to conceptualising the Estonian integration model by locating it within the context of debates regarding the relationship between individual and group rights in liberal social theory. The fourth section analyses the primary documents of the integration strategy, adopted by the Estonian government in the period...

  8. 4 Ethnic inequalities in education
    (pp. 59-92)
    Kristina Lindemann and Ellu Saar

    One of the most basic questions of integration research is whether the life circumstances of immigrants and natives have converged or diverged. Educational attainment is of key importance for the integration of immigrants and their descendants because education substantially shapes immigrants’ labour market outcomes. Ethnic educational inequality is a widespread phenomenon, characterising numerous school systems throughout the world (see Heath & Brinbaum 2007).

    The substantial disadvantage of the first generation of immigrants is explained by the lack of fluency in the language of the host country, foreign educational credentials and foreign work experience. The main conclusion has been that their disadvantages...

  9. 5 Explaining different returns from human capital in the labour market
    (pp. 93-118)
    Kristina Lindemann

    Ethnic inequalities characterise most labour markets in Europe. The extent of ethnic inequality depends on the specific societal context, as well as the characteristics of ethnic groups. In many European countries, the disadvantaged labour market position of first-generation immigrants relates to their insufficient human capital, foreign qualifications and work experience (Heath & Cheung 2007). However, the children of immigrants attain their education in the country of destination and most likely acquire similar aspirations for economic success as natives (Portes & Zhou 1993). Studies have shown that there is labour market assimilation across generations. Although the second generation probably experiences ethnic disadvantages in...

  10. 6 Income inequality
    (pp. 119-142)
    Rein Vöörmann and Jelena Helemäe

    Income refers to a consumption opportunity gained by an entity within a specified time frame, which is generally expressed in monetary terms (Barr 2004). However, for households and individuals ‘income is the sum of all the wages, salaries, profits, interests payments, rents and other forms of earnings received in a given period of time’ (Case & Fair 2000).

    In this chapter we focus not so much on consumption opportunity but rather, on the importance and amount of income from employment, as well as on the probability of belonging to a highly paid group of employees. Income inequality is of particular importance...

  11. 7 Housing conditions and neighbourhood satisfaction
    (pp. 143-164)
    Liis Ojamäe and Katrin Paadam

    Questions about distinct opportunities for accessible and affordable housing related to ethnic minority issues did not form part of the Estonian public policy discourse until after the fundamental societal transformation and reintroduction of capitalist relations towards the end of the last century. Likewise, residential and regional patterns of segregation, which are based on an ethnic rather than a socio-economic differentiation of inhabitants, were not formed recently but rather, are embedded in the specific socio-structural context of the previous Soviet socialist system. The legacy of these past societal developments is apparent and, thus, creates a unique socio-physical situation in urban residential...

  12. 8 Contact and crisis in interethnic relations
    (pp. 165-182)
    Jennie Schulze

    Interethnic relations in Estonian society have been the subject of a large body of academic literature. These works have progressed from predicting the outbreak of violence between ethnic groups in the early 1990s to explaining Estonia as a perplexing case of non-violence (see Barrington 1995; Brubaker 1998; Chin & Kaiser 1996; King & Melvin 1999; Laitin 1998; Melvin 1995; Pettai & Hallik 2002; Smith 1996, 1999; Vetik 2001). The peaceful nature of interethnic relations was disrupted by the violent riots that broke out in Tallinn in April 2007, following the removal of the Bronze Soldier statue, a Soviet World War II memorial, from...

  13. 9 Gender role attitudes
    (pp. 183-202)
    Leeni Hansson

    The studies on gender-related social processes have pointed to an inequality in the distribution of resources and opportunities between men and women, both in the Western and in Eastern European countries (Hanson & Wells-Dang 2006). On the one hand, opportunities and choices for men and women depend on the gender ideology and labour market policies of the country. On the other hand, they also depend on prevailing currents in the gender role attitudes of the society and in the individual’s attitudes (Barber & Axinn 1998). The studies carried out in Estonia in the last decade, for instance the Gender Equality Monitoring carried...

  14. 10 Sense of belonging to Estonia
    (pp. 203-228)
    Gerli Nimmerfeldt

    This chapter will address one aspect of identificational integration by exploring the formation of a sense of belonging to the host country and its society among second-generation Russians in Estonia, based on the connection and emotional attachment to the host country and feelings of being part of the society. The innovation of the chapter is in providing an additional operationalisation of identificational integration, which differs from traditional approaches applied in empirical studies.

    The studies of identificational integration of immigrants and their descendants based either on the linear or segmented assimilation theory or on their elaborations, have mostly focused on ethnic...

  15. 11 Conclusions
    (pp. 229-238)
    Raivo Vetik and Jelena Helemäe

    The analysis in this volume indicates that the main issues compounding the Russian second generation’s integration are as follows: their segregation from the Estonian language society, which has its historical background in the policies and social processes of the former Soviet Union; disparity compared to their native peers, both in terms of social and economic opportunities, which is mostly the result of the new institutions established by the Estonian state after regaining independence; and reactivity of young Russians towards these policies, which has a potential to escalate, in certain conditions, into a large-scale conflict.

    Soviet policy in Estonia could be...

  16. Appendix
    (pp. 239-240)
  17. List of contributors
    (pp. 241-242)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 243-249)