Contexts of Exit in the Migration of Russian Speakers from the Baltic Countries to Ireland

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Recently, Ireland has become a major destination for migrants from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Many of these migrants are members of Russian-speaking minorities leaving a context of restrictive citizenship and language laws and varying degrees of ethnic tension. This article draws on interviews collected in Ireland to examine the role played by the contexts of exit in decisions to migrate among Russian-speaking minorities from the Baltics. The results suggest that Russian speakers from Estonia migrate because of their experiences as minorities, while those from Latvia and Lithuania migrate to escape low wages and irregular employment. This is so despite equally restrictive language and citizenship laws in Estonia and Latvia. I argue that the effect of state policy as a push factor for minority emigration is mediated by other contextual aspects, such as levels of contact, timbre of ethnic relations, and the degree of intersection between economic stratification and ethnicity. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Ethnicities, 9/4, May 2012 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Sofya Aptekar)

Source: Ethnicities Volume 9, Number 4, pages 507-526, December 2009

Author(s):Sofya Aptekar
Publisher:SAGE Journals
Publication Date:01 Dec 2009
Geographic Focus:Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania
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