‘What is my country to me?’ Identity construction by Russian-speakers in the Baltic countries
Keywords:ethnolinguistic vitality, identity construction
AbstractContributing 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.
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