|Russia's citizens of different formal ethnicity: Ethnic self-definition and desire to live in Another Country.|
|This paper presents some results of the analysis* (with all necessary historical references) aimed to examine relationships between citizens' ethnic self-definitions and desires to live in another country or to stay in the Russian Federation.
The desires of respondents, whose formal ethnicity*** and ethnic self-definitions coincided were not affected by their ethnic self-definitions. But the desires of respondents, whose formal and self-defined ethnicity didn't coincide, were significantly interrelated with their ethnic self-definitions.
These respondents have perceived their formal ethnicity as "empty and senseless records" in their documents. A part of them wished to live in Germany, Greece, Georgia, etc. in order to realize their dreams "to be completely integrated in a society, where people of the same ethnicity are the dominant ethnic majority of a true language and alive authentic culture". "People perceive me as a Georgian or an Armenian, or even as a Chechen, etc., but never as a 'Rooskiji'** (ethnic Russian) or as a Greek, whom I was written. In fact, I am rather a 'Rooskiji' by my language and culture, than a Greek. In Russia you can't be a real Greek, even if you want. So, I'd like to live in Greece in order that my children could become true Greeks". However, ethnic self-definitions of the other part of these respondents were strongly influenced by their prior desires to live in a country as the USA, Canada, Australia, France, etc. Nevertheless their ethnic self-definitions, they wished to get rid of belonging to any ethnic group for to become a full value citizen of a really civilized and democratic nation. And contrary, the desires "to stay" of the last part of this type respondents were sufficiently influenced by their conscious and motivated self-definitions as members of the Russian civil culture and growing civil nation, though most of them were not 'Rooskie' by officially prescribed ethnic labels.
The analyses revealed close three-way interrelations between respondents' desires as well as formal and self-defined ethnicity. It showed that any discrimination of citizens for their formal ethnicity or an impossibility of full realization of their self-definitions strongly influences their desires to emigrate to a more humane and civilized society.
* Surveys were conducted by the Independent Sociological Centre "On Emigration Research". A statistical survey (N=624) was done in 2005 and 63 in-depth interviews were done in 2006. At the time all respondents were citizens of the Russian Federation of different formal ethnicity: ethnic Russians (self-ethnonym is "Rooskie")**, Germans, Greeks, Armenians, Georgians and Ukrainians. The mother tongue of all of respondents was the Russian language.
All field works were done by "The All-Russian Levada-Centre of Public Opinion Research" in Saratov, Engels, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.
** 'Rooskie' (singular - 'Rooskiji') are indigenous descendants of East Slavic people of Byzantine-Russian Orthodox culture, and of baptized in people, whatever their ethnic origin. But after 2003, the word means also the Russians as a nation of citizens who are natives of the Russian Language and Russian civil culture.
*** Multifaceted "Formal E." is analyzed here as socially prescribed and severely fixed labels of ethnicity as records in citizens' birth certificates and internal Soviet and post-Soviet passports before 2003 by their parents' ethnicity (in mixed cases by a citizen's choice between).