Intercultural Training Program as a Mechanism of Raising the Individual Level of Competition

Friday, July 18, 2014: 5:30 PM
Room: Booth 46
Oral Presentation
Rumiya TANGALYCHEVA , Dept. of Sociology of Culture and Communication, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

Seventy people representing five regions, and 32 countries were involved in the research. 25 expert interviews and 6 focus-groups were conducted by the researches. Most contrast patterns of cultural clashes were observed in the interaction between the citizens of St. Petersburg and the representatives of western and eastern cultures. The strategies of  acculturation of the people with diverse origin are very different. The representatives of Western Europe and the USA tend to believe that their difficulties in adaptation result from low standards of local people and Russian social environment. Newcomers from far eastern countries make enormous efforts to understand the motives guiding the local people’s behavior, and try to adjust to the context of local culture. Africans tend to conceal their problems. The main problem of their adaptation is the lack of local people’s tolerance resulting from physical and cultural differences. Weighing pros and cons of living in St. Petersburg they often try to focus on positive aspects and hush up negative sides. As for the citizens of the CIS and former Baltic republics (Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia), the process of their adaptation is the easiest one, because they speak fluent Russian, have been visiting St. Petersburg since childhood and do not feel enormous cultural differences. However, the lack of notable differences led to certain difficulties in constructing the cultural assimilators with their participation. At the same time, the migrants from the CIS, who came to raise their earnings and living standards, are often excluded from the social environment of St. Petersburg because of their limited access to economic and cultural resources.