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Moving Russia(ns): Intergenerational Transmission of Memories Abroad and at Home

Project description

From Russia, with memories

To what extent do young adults in migrant and non-migrant families identify with their parents’ homeland and period of history? Under what conditions do the historical memories and political attitudes of young adults in migrant and non-migrant families converge with, or diverge from, those of their parents? What kinds of historical memories are conducive to solidarity and pluralist political attitudes or, conversely, to indifference and intolerance? The ERC-funded MoveMeRU project will answer these questions. It will focus on the Russian migrant population in Germany, Estonia, and Canada. The findings will shed light on the use of memories to appeal to the emotions of Russians at home and abroad, and how this is leveraged to increase their sense of belonging to Russia.


Children of migrants are exposed to two national histories: those told in their country of residence and those relating to their family?s homeland. However, it remains unclear how the intergenerational transmission of historical views shapes the relationship migrants cultivate with ?here? and ?there?. Applying theories of intergenerational transmission and second-generation transnationalism, MoveMeRU addresses this urgent gap and compares the historical memories of migrants and non-migrants across two generations. It studies the Russian migrant population in a favourable, hostile and neutral reception context, looking at Germany, Estonia and Canada. Like many other autocracies, Russia uses historical memories to appeal to the emotions of citizens at home and abroad and strengthen their sense of belonging to Russia.
The project will make major academic contributions in three areas: 1) understanding the historical identification of young adults in migrant and non-migrant families with their parents? country of origin; 2) identifying when the memories of migrant and non-migrant families converge or diverge across generations; 3) determining what historical memories contribute to solidarity and pluralistic political attitudes.
MoveMeRU entails a groundbreaking triangulation of methods: 1) parent-child opinion surveys on views on history among migrant communities and nationals in the three countries of destination and Russia; 2) cross-generational focus groups in the same countries; 3) analysis of historical narratives in media targeting Russian speakers abroad.
The project will refine our understanding of differences and similarities in the intergenerational transmission of memories in migrant and non-migrant families, offering important insights into the drivers of and obstacles to integration. The results have major implications for political decision-making in countries of destination and for public awareness about intergenerational shifts within migrant communities.



Net EU contribution
€ 1 500 000,00
Mohrenstrasse 60
10117 Berlin

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Berlin Berlin Berlin
Activity type
Research Organisations
Other funding
€ 0,00