Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Migrants’ languages shape transnational communication

Studying how Russian speakers in Estonia and Finland affect the political and civil landscapes, an EU-funded project outlined a fresh perspective on migration and transnational communication.
Migrants’ languages shape transnational communication
In an age where migration has become a hot topic that affects the social and political spheres of host countries, researchers are increasingly interested in how young migrants are adapting. Estonia and Finland have received many young Russian migrants, exposing them to new ideas and cultures while shaping who they are and impacting host communities and countries as well.

The EU-funded TRANSDOM (Transnational youth in civic action: Young Russian-speakers as agents of domestication in Finnish and Estonian civil societies) project conducted a comparative study in the two host countries on the dynamics involving civil society, migration and transnational communication.

Looking at young Russians in Estonia and Finland who speak Russian as their mother tongue, TRANSDOM conducted 52 interviews in both countries. This was combined with information gleaned on the internet regarding how Russian speakers interacted with social media and the blogosphere. The comparative nature of the research revealed that the Russian-speaking communities in Estonia and Finland differ significantly.

The results were discussed in a lecture course on ‘Democratization, civil society and western influence in post-communist transitions’. Further in-depth analysis of the results led to more insight on different topics such as civil society and democratization in post-communist countries.

Overall, the project’s results shed light on the impact that young people from migrant backgrounds in transnational online space can have on their new home countries. It looked at how they convey their perspectives concerning social activity and political culture.

Lastly, TRANSDOM supported research on transnationalism and its effects on political culture in terms of attitudes, behaviour patterns and forms of organisation. This led to a new multilateral approach – based on background mapping, interviews and analysis of online social networks – to further research on transnationalism and democratisation.

Related information


Migrants, transnational communication, Russian speakers, TRANSDOM, transnationalism
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