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ISSN 2227-6017 (ONLINE), ISSN 2303-9868 (PRINT), DOI: 10.18454/IRJ.2227-6017
ПИ № ФС 77 - 51217, 16+


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Nuriev I.A., "IMMIGRANTS’ SOCIALIZATION IN GLOBALIZING WORLD". Meždunarodnyj naučno-issledovatel’skij žurnal (International Research Journal) , (2014): . Sat. 08. Feb. 2014.



Нуриев И.А.

Аспирант, Нижегородский государственный лингвистический университет им. Н.А. Добролюбова



В статье анализируется влияние происходящих глобализационных процессов на социализацию человека и, как следствие, на социализацию иммигрантов. Автором подчеркивается изменяющаяся роль индивида, становящегося более активным и независимым, в процессе социализации. При этом заключается, что, несмотря на происходящее сближение народов и наций, иммигранты сталкиваются с кризисом идентичности.

Ключевые слова: социализация, глобализация, иммиграция, идентичность, кризис идентичности.

Nuriev I.A.

Postgraduate Student, Nizhny Novgorod State Linguistics University



The article analyzes the way socialization is affected by the ongoing processes of globalization and consequently the influence of the latter on immigrants. The author underlines the changing role of an individual who becomes more active and independent in the process of socialization. Even though nations and peoples are supposed to be getting closer when one moves to another country he may face the identity crisis.

Keywords: socialization, globalization, immigration, identity, crisis identity.

Human society constantly evolves, especially nowadays. The development of modern technologies, various means of communication, ways of collecting, storing and transmitting information significantly changes social organization at an unprecedented rate moving us to what McLuhan called ‘the Global Village’ [1]. No doubt, the process of human’s internalization of social norms and standards is also affected by the ongoing changes. Moreover, now when national borders get more and more transparent, migration flows are extremely active. Due to these aspects, the aim of the article is to analyze the influence of migrations on human’s socialization.

First of all, it seems of great importance to define the process of socialization at the current stage. While they used to believe it to be a rather automatic process where an individual had no real choice (M. Fuko, T. Parsons, H. Tard etc.), a number of modern theories stress person’s active taking part in it. For instance, American sociologist M. Castells develops the idea of Network society. The role of the Internet is especially underlined in Castells’ latest works. It is quite apparent that people throughout the world are connected via the net and consequently they are not tied to the place of origin anymore. Time and Place ‘shrink’ as one can travel all around the universe not even leaving the desk. So, the place of birth is not indigenous any more, contradictory it may sound. The family and ‘geographically-close’ friends are not necessarily the only or the main sources of social standards. Castells claims that one constructs ideas and norms himself and thereafter identifies with a society [2]. A. Giddens also considers a person to be active in socializing; however he singles out a little different reasons. According to the British sociologist, we are faced by the undermining of the role of traditions. Being left without clear patterns of behavior, man starts acting independently, analyzing the outcomes, defining and assessing what is done [3]. As a result of these two tendencies a new globalized society is formed (Giddens, Bauman, Beck). We can suppose this is possible due to the rapid development of the Internet. Indeed, Castells underlines that when a man is cut from the Net he constructs ideas independently [2], whereas, we can conclude, when one is connected to the Net, he identifies himself with a group of interest and may do it in collaboration.

The role of the Internet is greatly ambivalent nowadays. On the one hand, it may be claimed that its development inevitably leads to identity crisis as significant others are changed. Being affected by uninhibited flows of information children, teenagers may lose sources of social norms which are considered to be conventional, e.g. parents, teachers, elder siblings etc. In a way they are free to choose whoever they want to internalize their views no matter how geographically far they are. As a result the conflict of the standards they consider appropriate and of those they are imposed may arise which consequently can cause the identity crisis. A number of Russian researchers stick to this point of view (Kubyakin, Fedotova, Lukov) underlining that nowadays the institutes of socialization are ‘disconnected’. On the other hand, there are thoughts according to which the Internet has a positive effect of social integration as it ‘encourages communication among different social classes, gender and ethnic groups, and people of different ages’.

However the society becomes global not only because of the Internet, but also as a result of migration processes which got especially active in the last quarter of the previous century. In this work we do not speak about those cosmopolitans who freely travel around the globe and may be called the citizens of the world but about those who have to move in the search for improving their living standards. These migration processes led to the spread of the idea of multiculturalism among countries-recipients.

We assume the social group of labor migrants to be vulnerable due to several aspects. First, new cultural and language environment are inevitable. Not knowing local norms of social life, lack of knowledge of the language may cause hostile attitudes of the locals which results in frustration. Second, lower social status. As a rule, labor immigrants have a much lower social status than that in the country of their origin; they take up low-paid jobs of no prestige which still let them earn more money they could back at home. Third, the absence of customary social environment is also crucial. People do not have those significant others they usually turn to for help and support, whose opinions they respect. The lack of significant others is negative to a great extent as they play an important role in the process of secondary socialization which lasts all life long. Finally, immigrants face indecent housing. In a number of countries immigrants are confronted by barriers on the market of real estate for lease. In some cases these are legal barriers, in others – social. For example, in some states of the USA only those who have a green card are let to become tenants whereas in Russia these are landlords who impose restrictions. According to the analysis of real estate advertisements quite often apartments are leased ‘only for Russians’. In some regions such commercials make a quarter of all. Furthermore, inadequate housing also means the exclusion from the Net which, as it has already been discussed, is a serious obstacle to socialization nowadays.

Thus, misunderstanding the local language, culture, lack of ability to take part in social life may lead to an inferiority complex; the disagreement of already internalized norms and the new ones results in an inner conflict; the absence of the members of reference groups makes the process of further socialization rather difficult. However, the findings of the research carried out by three American foundations (the Mittlemann Family Directorship at the Center, the John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation) indicate that the younger immigrants’ children are, the easier for them to adapt to a new society [4]. This also may be disorienting for older immigrants. These are the factors that may become the reasons for identity crisis.

These facts could not be ignored by the governments of receiving countries and that is how the concept of multiculturalism appeared. In order to stimulate the flows of immigrants which was mainly dictated by the need for bringing down the rate of natural decrease states developed special conditions for those who moved to their countries. That was when cultural centers, special schools, religious institutes were opened. However, in most cases immigrants not feeling the support of local citizens did not assimilate, as it was expected, but formed national enclaves which, obviously, were not welcomed. That may be considered as the main reason for xenophobia.

Another aspect that can lead to xenophobia is a distorted idea of immigrants’ origin. One of the research conducted in Russian Volga region proves the statement. According to it, most Russians associate immigrants with the natives of the Caucasus even though the major part of immigrants originates from the CIS. From this point of view the mass media may be considered as a social institute that significantly fuels the discord. Indeed, articles often oppose locals to immigrants thinking in categories of ‘good and evil’. Incidents with immigrants are more likely to be brought onto the front page than those with locals. The Doctor of Messina University, Italy, P. Panarello stresses that the mass media are the main source of the idea of immigrants’ invasion of Italy. Moreover, politicians tend to base on such materials during election campaigns, thereby incentivizing the mass media [4].

The ongoing processes of globalization inevitably affect the process of socialization. A person gets more independent in internalizing social standards as nowadays he actively takes part in the process. The development of the Internet enables one to travel around the world in seconds, thus traditional significant others may be changed. Still there are people who physically move around the globe. Those who undergo labor migration may feel alienated and face identity crisis as they lack knowledge of local culture, language and they are cut from the Net. Local citizens’ unawareness of immigrants’ origin and mass media’s fueling negative attitude to the latter lead to xenophobia. As a result we may conclude, that even though today we are considered to be the citizens of the world, ‘the global village’, there are still few people who can be called cosmopolitans, whereas the most part of the population remains localized to whom emigration means difficulties in socialization.


  1. McLuhan M. War and Peace in the Global Village. – N.Y., 1968. – 190 p.
  2. Castells M. The Internet Galaxy. – Oxford University Press, 2001. – 292 p.
  3. Giddens A. Runaway World: How Globalization is Reshaping Our Lives. – London: Profile. – 124 p.
  4. Panarello P. Educational and Anthropological Perspectives: an Italian View on Migration in Multi-cultural Urban Spaces// Social Work and Society. – 2008 – №1. – P. 47-55.

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