”The Fourth Wave of Emigration” vs “Global Russians”: Self-Naming as an Actual Problem of Forming Identity

Maria Litovskaya, Elizaveta Litovskaya


The political and economic situation of the first half of the 1990s was accompanied by a massive relocation of Russian citizens abroad for permanent or temporary residence with an ability to have multiple citizenship, working, studying and doing business outside the Russia. This new conditions have radically changed the idea of exile, which was formed in the Russian language imagine of the world in the preceding two centuries, through periodic discussion of this topic in journalism and fiction. The changed perceptions of the concept of emigration and emigrants has induced to a discussion of how to name this new generation.

The four waves of Russian emigration differ from each other on political, economic and social grounds, but the strongest difference lies in the attitude to departure and the emigrant defining themselves in the new conditions. In this article we want to observe just one aspect of actual social situation - the self-nomination problem of Russians who do not live in Russia permanently or moved to other countries for a permanent stay. We briefly describe the self-characteristics of representatives of all waves of emigration, but pay special attention to the last, so called ‘fourth wave’, self-determination of which is conceptually and semantically different from all previous ones. In the paper will be discussed the course and results of the discussion about self-nomination based on the materials of the magazine online platform Snob in the 2000s. This narrow lexicological material allows us to make some general conclusions about group and personal identity of the new “mobile” formation of Russians in aspects of social and cultural studies.


Russian emigration, Global Russians, blogs, Snob, globalization

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6667/interface.7.2018.69


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