Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 9, No 2-3 (2015)

‘What is my country to me?’ Identity construction by Russian-speakers in the Baltic countries

Anastassia Zabrodskaja
Issued Date: 30 Sep 2015

Abstract


Contributing to the research on interdependence between perceived ethnolinguistic vitality and identity construction patterns, the article takes a close look at the identities of Russian-speakers living in the Baltic countries. Combining quantitative and qualitative research, the purpose is to analyse ethnic, national, linguistic and imperial identity construction by respondents with different ethnolinguistic vitality profiles. The results show that linguistic environment and official language competence are very strong determinants of perceived ethnolinguistic vitality, which, in turn, affects identity construction. It is possible to distinguish up to five vitality clusters within each Russian-speaking community in the Baltic countries. The Russian-speaking groups are quite diverse in respect to the beliefs and ideologies connected with the host and heritage countries, languages, cultures and ethnic self-categorisations.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v9i2.26885

References


Blommaert, J., Collins, J. and Slembrouck, S. (2005) Spaces of multilingualism. Language & Communication 2: 197--216.
Brady, H. E. and Kaplan C. S. (2000) Categorically wrong? Nominal versus graded measures of ethnic identity. Studies in Comparative International Development 35(3): 56--91.
Brubaker, R. (2004) Ethnicity without Groups. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Dorian, N. (2010) Linguistic and ethnographic fieldwork. In J. Fishman and O. García (eds) Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity 89--106. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Edwards, J. (1985) Language, Society and Identity. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Ehala, M. and Zabrodskaja, A. (2013a) Ethnolinguistic vitality of ethnic groups in the Baltic countries. In S. Smyth and C. Opitz (eds) Negotiating Linguistic, Cultural and Social Identities in the Post-Soviet World 45--85. Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Wien: Peter Lang Verlag.
Ehala, M. and Zabrodskaja, A. (2013b) Measuring ethnolinguistic vitality of the largest ethnic groups in the Baltic states (I). Ethnicity 1(8): 4--30.
Ehala, M. and Zabrodskaja, A. (2013c) Measuring ethnolinguistic vitality of the largest ethnic groups in the Baltic states (II). Ethnicity 2(9): 25--68.
Ehala, M. and Zabrodskaja, A. (2014) Ethnolinguistic vitality and acculturation orientations of Russian speakers in Estonia. In L. Ryazanova-Clarke (ed) The Russian Language Outside the Nation 166--188. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Fishman, J. (1977) Language and ethnicity. In H. Giles (ed) Language, Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations 15--58. London & New York: Academic Press.
Gans, H. (1985) Review of The Varieties of Ethnic Experience [Micaela DiLeonardo]. Contemporary Sociology 14: 302--304.
Giles, H., Bourhis, R. Y. and Taylor, D. M. (1977) Towards a theory of language in ethnic group relations. In H. Giles (ed) Language, Ethnicity and Intergroup Relations 307--348. London: Academic Press.
Guardado, M. and Becker, A. (2013) Fostering heritage languages and diasporic identities: The role of grassroots initiatives in Alberta and British Columbia. In K. Arnett and C. Mady (eds) Minority Populations in Canadian Second Language Education 55--70. Bristol • Buffalo • Toronto: Multilingual Matters.
Hazen, K. (2000) Identity and Ethnicity in the Rural South: A Sociolinguistic View through Past and Present Be. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Hogan-Brun, G. (guest ed.) (2005) Baltic sociolinguistic review. Special Issue of Journal of Baltic Studies 36(3).
Irvine, J. T. and Gal, S. (2000) Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. In P. V. Kroskrity (ed) Regimes of language. Ideologies, Polities, and Identities, 35--83. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press.
King, K. and Ganuza, N. (2005) Language, identity, education, and transmigration: Chilean adolescents in Sweden. Journal of Language, Identity, and Education 4(3): 179--199.
Kolstø, P. (1999) Territorializing diasporas: The case of the Russians in the former Soviet republics. Millennium -- Journal of International Studies 28(3): 607--631.
Kouritzin, S. G. (1999) Face(t)s of First Language Loss. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Laitin, D. (1996) Language planning in the former Soviet Union: the case of Estonia. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 118: 43--61.
Laitin, D. (1998) Identity in Formation: the Russian Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Laitin, D. (2003) Three models of integration and the Estonian/Russian reality. Journal of Baltic Studies 34(2): 197--223.
Lauristin, M., Kaal, E., Kirss, L., Kriger, T., Masso, A., Nurmela, K., Seppel, K., Tammaru, T., Uus, M., Vihalemm, P., Vihalemm, T. and Jufereva, M. (2011) Estonian Integration Monitoring 2011: Summary. AS Emor: Praxis Center for Policy Studies.
Makoni, S. and Pennycook, A. (2007) Disinventing and reconstituting languages. In S. Makoni and A. Pennycook (eds) Disinventing and Reconstituting Languages, 1--41. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
May, S. (2001) Language and Minority Rights: Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Politics of Language. London: Longman.
McEntee-Atalianis, L. (2011) The value of adopting multiple approaches and methodologies in the investigation of Ethnolinguistic Vitality. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 32(2): 151--167.
Omoniyi, T. and White, G. (Eds.) (2006) Introduction. In T. Omoniyi and G. White (eds) The Sociolinguistics of Identity 1--8. London: Continuum.
Ozolins, U. (1999) Between Russian and European hegemony: current language policy in the Baltic states. Current Issues in Language and Society 6(1): 6--47.
Ozolins, U. (2002) Post-imperialist language situations: the Baltic states. Paper presented at World Congress on Language Policies, Barcelona, 16--20 April 2002. Retrieved on 15 February 2015 from http://estudijas.lu.lv/mod/page/view.php?id=30448
Pavlenko, A. (ed) (2008) Multilingualism in post-Soviet countries. Special issue of International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 11(3&4).
Pavlenko, A. (2011) Language rights versus speakers’ rights: on the applicability of Western language rights approaches in Eastern European contexts. Language Policy 10(1): 37--58.
Pavlenko, A. (2013) Multilingualism in post-Soviet successor states. Language and Linguistics Compass 7(4): 262--271.
Pavlenko, A. and Blackledge, A. (2004) New theoretical approaches to the study of negotiation of identity in multilingual contexts. In A. Pavlenko and A. Blackledge (eds) Negotiation of identities in multilingual contexts 1--33. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Romanov, A. (2000) The Russian diaspora in Latvia and Estonia: Predicting language outcomes. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 21(1): 58--71.
Ryazanova-Clarke, L. (ed) (2014) The Russian Language Outside the Nation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Sallabank, J. (2006) Guernsey French, identity and language endangerment. In T. Omoniyi and G. White (eds) The Sociolinguistics of Identity 131--156. London: Continuum.
Smith, D. (1998) Russia, Estonia and the search for a stable ethno-politics. Journal of Baltic Studies 29(1): 3--18.
Zabrodskaja, A. (2009) Language testing in the context of citizenship and asylum: The case of Estonia. Language Assessment Quarterly 6(1): 61--70.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy