Tangalycheva, Rumiya

Intercultural Training Program as a Tool of Raising the Individual Level of Competition

The training program developers have employed the methodology of general cultural assimilator by R.W. Brislin and K. Cushner based on 18 themes, faced by the migrants in the period of adaptation . Various approaches to the study the acculturation problems were also in focus of researchers, especially the one suggested by J.Berry, who elaborated the fourfold “acculturation strategies”: assimilation, separation, marginalization and integration.

Seventy people representing five regions, and 32 countries were involved in the research. 25 expert interviews and 6 focus-groups were conducted by the researches. Executives of overseas companies and diplomatic services’ functionaries, high profile foreign professors and instructors of foreign languages, post graduate students were involved as experts.  All of them have been living and working / studying in St. Petersburg at least for three years and speak  Russian fluently.  The groups of interviewees were formed in the following way: two groups of students and post graduate students studying at St. Petersburg’s universities and institutes; two groups of employees of multinationals and joint ventures; one group of labor migrants and one group of persons married to foreign citizens and permanently residing with their spouses in St. Petersburg.

Most contrast patterns of cultural clashes were observed in the interaction between the citizens of St. Petersburg and the representatives of western and eastern cultures. The strategies of  acculturation of the people with diverse origin are very different. The representatives of Western Europe and the USA tend to believe that their difficulties in adaptation result from low standards of local people and Russian social environment. Newcomers from far eastern countries make enormous efforts to understand the motives guiding the local people’s behavior, and try to adjust to the context of local culture. Africans tend to conceal their problems. The main problem of their adaptation is the lack of local people’s tolerance resulting from physical and cultural differences. Weighing pros and cons of living in St. Petersburg they often try to focus on positive aspects and hush up negative sides. As for the citizens of the CIS and former Baltic republics (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia), the process of their adaptation is the easiest one, because they speak fluent Russian, have been visiting St. Petersburg since childhood and do not feel enormous cultural differences. However, the lack of notable differences led to certain difficulties in constructing the cultural assimilators with their participation. At the same time, the migrants from the CIS, who came to raise their earnings and living standards, are often excluded from the social environment of St. Petersburg because of their limited access to economic and cultural resources.

Thursday 25 October 08:30-10:00 Panels III, Panel 11 Inter-Ethnicity and Citizenship (Hall 8)