Heritage language preservation, social networking and transnational activities: a study of Russian complementary schools in Scotland

Ivashinenko, Nina (2019) Heritage language preservation, social networking and transnational activities: a study of Russian complementary schools in Scotland. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information: https://eleanor.lib.gla.ac.uk/record=b3338518


This thesis presents the first in-depth qualitative study of Russian complementary schools in Scotland. The fieldwork was conducted from November 2013 to April 2015 in four Russian schools in Scotland (in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee). The thesis offers novel insights and contributes to existing theoretical, methodological, and empirical research on migrant communities through a novel lens of heritage language complementary schools. It brings a new focus to existing work in this area through its consideration of language preservation as the key factor supporting this group of Russian-speaking parents to be involved in different types of social networks and socio-cultural transnational activities.
Heritage language preservation is a negotiable process which flexibly responds to the interests of the parents, teachers and pupils who participate in the activities of the Russian schools and contribute to shaping their aims. These interests can be considered as the main driving forces for a wide range of aspects of the Russian schools’ everyday life such as educational programmes, styles of teaching, the social relationship between members and additional cultural events organised by these schools. Russian-speaking communities bring together individuals with a range of characteristics (including different paths to migration, skills and educational levels, national identities, plans for settlement in the UK/Scotland). The present study has shown the importance of this diverse composition of Russian-speaking communities to the everyday operations of the Russian schools. By using the Russian schools as a context, the thesis brings a new angle to understanding how social networks emerge and develop in this particular migrant group, which has previously been characterised as lacking strong social bonding and bridging connections (Kopnina, 2007; Molnar, 2011).
In addition, the findings contribute to the discussion of socio-cultural transnational activities provided by complementary schools (Willis, 1992) and their role in migrant community development (Moskal & Sime, 2015). Expanding on the existing literature in this area, the thesis investigates heritage Russian language learning as a two-way process influencing both the transnational activities emerging around the Russian schools, and the Russian-speaking community in Scotland itself.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: This research has been done with generous financial support from GRAMNET, Research Centre EON, and the Research Centre for Social Systems.
Keywords: heritage language, migrant social networking, transnational activities, complementary schools, Russian-speaking community.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Supervisor's Name: Kay, Prof. Rebecca and Crichton, Dr. Hazel
Date of Award: 2019
Depositing User: Nina Ivashinenko
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41059
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2019 08:07
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 22:01
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.41059
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/41059

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