Surveying Migrants in Moscow Suburbs
On November, 3, 2011 Evgeni Varshaver (research fellow at the LCSR) gave a talk on “Surveying Migrants in Moscow Suburbs”.
The project of Evgeni and his colleagues is a part of the big project on migration led by Daniel Alexandrov. To be more precise at the moment Evgeni surveys migrants from Caucasus and Middle Asia in Moscow region. The main focus of this part of the research (in Moscow region) is the following: educational pathways and choices, selection and sorting, migrant children and multiethnic schools, spatial organization of educational systems.
The purpose of this stage is to survey parents of schoolchildren. It may help to get insight in solving two major problems of migration studies in sociology – sampling and survey conducting. Moreover, it is possible to cover grown-up migrants, compare different types of migrants between themselves and with local population concerning their values and attitudes.
Evgeni and his colleagues have already conducted a pilot study, when they covered 4 schools (in towns of Razvilka, Voskresenskoe, Korolev and Shcherbinka), 18 classes (2 pre-school group, 8 first classes, 8 second classes) and 318 migrant parents. They surveyed 17 suburban schools of Moscow region and interviewed 34 migrant parents. The hint was that it was not clear from the questionnaire that migration history of those people was in focus of the survey.
One of the points of this pilot survey was to select proper methodology. In this respect the researchers conducted a methodological experiment. The classes were divided into four groups and were surveyed in a different way: during teacher-parent meeting; at home when “one of the parents fills the questionnaire in”, at home when “only father fills the questionnaire in”, at home when “both parents fill the questionnaire in”. It turned out that it is better to survey parents at home because fathers are more likely to respond. Also the results are better when a teacher helps, especially when she\he puts a note with a request to fill in the questionnaire.
The respondents were classified into four categories: local Russians, Russian migrants, non-Russian migrants from Russia and non-Russian migrants from the former Soviet Union. These categories were compared by their educational status, plans for the future, maintaining contacts with people who do not live in Russia, helping parents, social capital and religiosity.
Evgeni and his colleagues are planning to conduct more extensive survey. They are going to survey parents of schoolchildren with help of motivated teachers. Furthermore, the researchers are going to include questions on values in order to compare the results with World Values Survey data.