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Negotiating Linguistic, Cultural and Social Identities in the Post-Soviet World

Edited By Sarah Smyth and Conny Opitz

In this volume, researchers in the fields of language in society, sociolinguistics, language politics, diaspora and identity studies explore the contacts between languages and cultures in the post-Soviet world. The book presents a range of perspectives on the effects of migration and of re-drawing of borders among groups and individuals for whom the Russian language has had an instrumental or symbolic prominence. How do recent geopolitical shifts impact on the policies and practices of newly independent states? How have communities and individuals come to redefine their own identities and core values? How does a cultural context in which the power relations between cultural and linguistic groups have been reversed or recalibrated affect the attitudes of each group? How does the potential for transnational identities impact on the interplay between diasporic and homeland communities? How does migration influence linguistic and parenting practices? This collection of fers answers to these and many other questions through case studies from eleven regions in Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East.


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Acknowledgements ix List of tables and figures xi List of maps xvii Sarah Smyth Introduction 1 Part 1 Identity options 19 Irina Zak and Arie Cohen Explicit/implicit acculturation and adaptation among Russian immigrant teachers in Israel 21 Martin Ehala and Anastassia Zabrodskaja Ethnolinguistic vitality of ethnic groups in the Baltic countries 45 Mikhail A. Molchanov Russian national identity: old traumas and new challenges 87 Part 2 Identities in the making 109 Svetlana Eriksson Who are you? Cultural associations in (self-)othering and cultural identity negotiation among Russian-speaking adolescents from Russia and Latvia in Ireland 111 vi Claudia Zbenovich The Russian-Jewish babushka in Israel: discourse analysis of a cultural phenomenon 141 Galina Nikiporets-Takigawa Digital debates on Soviet memory in the national identity construction of post-Soviet migrants 163 German Mendzheritskiy and Ekaterina Bagreeva Should we speak Russian? Everyday practice of Russian-speaking migrants in Germany and Norway 183 Part 3 Identities lost and found 201 Sari Pöyhönen Language and ethnicity lost and found: multiple identities of Ingrian Finnish teachers in Russia 203 Dionysios Zoumpalidis Russian language – Greek identity: a sociolinguistic approach to the Pontic Greek community in Russia 227 Sholpan Zharkynbekova and Baurzhan Bokayev Global transformations in Kazakhstani society and problems of ethno-linguistic identification 247 Jasmine Dum-Tragut Striving for linguistic independence? The Armenian language in post-Soviet Armenia: language policy and language planning 279 vii Notes on Contributors 303 Bibliography 307 Index 329 Index of ethnic groups, people and places 337

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