The sociologist believes that the concerns of the UK about migrants exaggerated
29 Jan 2014, 16:12
Text: Ivan Chernov
“Migrants appeared a space of leisure, they go to malls – shopping malls, walk around the city. And their more frequent occurrence in urban space can cause a new wave of xenophobia,” – said the newspaper VIEW of the St. Petersburg sociologist Olga Brednikova, commenting on the statement of the representative of the UK about the danger of the city’s immigrant ghetto.
Places of a mass congestion of migrants on the territory of St. Petersburg may turn into a ghetto, said Wednesday the head of the regional Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Klaus.
Speaking at the Board office, Klaus said that the source of criminality of migrants in St. Petersburg – places of their mass residence, where they gather in gangs, terrorizing the local population”, reports RIA “Novosti”.
According to him, in St. Petersburg, the places of mass concentration of migrants is a real threat that some areas might just turn into a ghetto, where the force of law, but the real power is in the hands of parochial authorities”.
Earlier on Monday, the FMS reported that the foreigners make about 4% of all crimes in Moscow – up to 20%.
About whether there is a danger of the appearance in St. Petersburg “national ghetto”, VZGLYAD asked to tell the expert on the problems of migration, research fellow Centre for independent social research Olga Brednikova.
OPINION: Olga Yevgenyevna, what can you say about the speech of the representative of the Investigative Committee? Have you encountered the nascent migrant ghettos during your research?
Olga Brednikova: I Have two fundamental objections. First, I wouldn’t be talking about “the ghetto”. Usual, this category is used for some external enclosures, external pressure and has a lot of negative annotation. And here we are talking about something else – about how the settlement of migrants who are simply trying to live closer to each other. This, of course, in any case not a ghetto.
Secondly, according to our research – and we are actively exploring the way of life of migrants, how they work, what they do in their free time, how to eat, with whom to communicate – it can be conducted just about changing the trends mentioned by the representative of the UK. Five years ago this trend was much more pronounced.
Now, according to my feelings, on the contrary, is the erosion of their “settlements” within the city. Because the changed market conditions. They started to work more actively in the service sector: janitors, cleaners, supermarkets etc. of Course, they try to settle close to the place of work, to avoid financial costs and less time to meet with the authorities, moving around the city. And so they work practically everywhere, in all parts, and settle accordingly.
VIEW: We are on the map of St. Petersburg is impossible to identify migrant areas or neighborhoods?
O. B.: May have meant that in the city there is the infrastructure for these people: migrant cafes, discos migrant, migrant sports clubs, etc. Probably because of this, and talking about the ghetto. But, in my opinion, this is a normal situation, and this happens in all large cities, where there are a large number of migrants. In no case should not be seen only as migrant workers, that is people who have come here only to work. They are human beings… they Have their leisure time, free time, family. So naturally, when too many of them, began to appear and appropriate leisure facilities.
OPINION: A place of cohabitation of a large number of migrants during your studies you have not seen?
Sociologist Olga Brednikova looks at the processes in the field of migration is not as negative as many (photo: cisr.ru)
O. B.: five years ago, I watched two squat, that is an abandoned house in St. Petersburg, where lived a large number of migrants. But now, I think, the situation is changing. Housing control became more stringent. And these squats were closed. Of course, there are some private apartment, where he lives quite a lot of people. And they have the desire to live next to each other. But I would not call this some sort of a mass phenomenon and would not have to look at the situation negatively.
How do you assess the level of crime in the migrant environment? If he exceeds the average level of the city?
O. B.: I didn’t spend on the subject of individual studies. But I read other studies, in particular Dmitry Dubrovsky: it States that ethnic migrant crime as such, no. That is, these symptoms are quite comparable with other figures in the middle of the city. And use the category of “migrant crime” is probably incorrect.
As for my own observations, all those people with whom we spoke during the research, are normal, reasonable people, just trapped in difficult conditions. The only thing to say here – we noticed a high level of tolerance of migrants relative to local residents and an increased level of xenophobia against the migrants from other countries, other ethnic groups. This kind of internal struggle for migrant resources. It really is the place.
OPINION: overall, How migrants are involved in “the Petersburg society” and seeking to adapt here, learn the language?
O. B.: Everyone is different. And come with different life perspectives. Those who are going to live here or they need Russian language for work, of course, they learn the language, make friends among locals, etc. But there is another option – when people come here temporarily and devote all his time to the work. And that is their right. And there is nothing wrong for the host society this is also no.
OPINION: Dealing with migrants, you, of course, asked them what they think about the local population, about power, about the police. What did they say?
O. B.: There are different cases. But mostly talking about the friendliness of the local residents. Of course, talk about the manifestations of xenophobia, intolerance, but mainly here we are talking about some youth that could be called “gopnicheskaya”. In relation to the state complaining about the big bureaucracy that some laws are changing almost every month. I’ve met people who, when faced with these problems, left. But a large part still remains.
OPINION: still, if you go back to the first question – about “ethnic ghettos” have long said the media in the West. These neighborhoods are in the cities of America, France, etc. the situation is, in your opinion, more advanced than in Russia?
O. B.: again, I would have corrected that we are not talking about a ghetto, and about areas. And they have much more Anisimovna areas. And we may talk not about ethnisierung areas, namely migrant, despite the fact that migrants are people from different countries, of different nationalities. Of course, the situation differs significantly. In Europe this problem has a long history.
OPINION: During your research feel xenophobia towards migrants in St. Petersburg?
O. B.: I think the degree of xenophobia is changing due to the fact that migrants have become more visible in the city space. Changed market conditions, they are now much more working in the service sector, that is among us. If they had been more isolated at some construction sites and markets, now it’s different. In addition, the protection of the rights of migrants, first of all, I mean their employment rights. And they now have no such busy schedules, those who do not want to work three jobs at once, can afford it. And it also has the ability to relax. Migrants appeared a space of leisure, they go to malls – shopping malls, walk around the city. And their more frequent occurrence in urban space can cause a new wave of xenophobia.