Book review: East to West Migration: Russian Migrants in Western Europe
Migrants from the same country often form communities in their new country. This is not the case with Russians in London and Amsterdam. They live in separate, often competing subgroups. This is one of the main points in the book East to West Migration: Russian Migrants in Western Europe by anthropologist Helen Kopnina. "I discovered that the concept of ‘subcommunities’ describes Russian migrants’ circumstances more accurately than that of ‘community,’” Kopnina writes.
In his review, Boris Kagarlitsky writes:
Among the Russian emigrants in London one can meet the oligarch Boris Berezovsky as well as half-starving dishwashers. These migrants can hardly manage to feel kinship. A common culture and language are of no help in this regard.
The new Russian emigration in the West reflects the same tendencies in play in post-Soviet society. It is startling that contemporary Russian society has been quickly marked by an almost complete absence of altruism, solidarity, and community. No longer under the dominion of the Communist Party, society has turned to primitive individualism.
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