Anthropological field research in Germany
From October 19th to November 17th, 2014, a group of LSAR research fellows were working on the project ‘Research on European identity (on the case of modern Germany)’ the Georg-August Universtiy of Göttingen (Germany). The project was run under the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7) ‘EUinDepth: European Identity, Cultural Diversity, and Political Change’. The research work was carried out by Irina V. Nam (project manager), Galina V. Grosheva, Elena V. Nam, and Galina N. Alishina.
The main goal of the project was to conduct anthropological field research on the issue of identity of Russian-speaking Germans of Russia who had migrated from Russia (including from the Tomsk region) and CIS countries to Germany. The research was done with the use of qualitative methods: biographic and expert interviews, focus-group discussions and participant observation. The geographic scope of research included six cities: Goettingen, Tostedt, Peine (Lower Saxony), Duelken (North Rhine-Westphalia), Munich (Bavaria), and Villingen-Schwenningen (Baden-Wuerttemberg). The anthropologists of Tomsk interviewed informants of different ages and social categories coming from German and mixed German-Russian families of Germans of Russia living in Germany. Interviews were recorded and field notes were taken throughout the research.
The project participants also had the opportunity of using the resources of the University of Goettingen Library, as well as of the Library of the Goettingen Department of the Institute for the Culture and History of the Germans of North-Eastern Europe.
Memorable was the participation of the Tomsk researchers in seminars by Professor Martin Tamcke at the Department of Theology of the University of Goettingen. In the seminar held on November 6th, 2014, the Head of the Laboratory for Social and Anthropological Research Irina V. Nam presented the TSU project ‘Man in a Changing World. Identity and Social Adaptation: Past and Present’. In her speech Professor Nam elaborated on the contribution of the Germans to the history, education, and culture of the city of Tomsk and the Tomsk region and explained the content of the Tomsk research project on the issues of identity and integration of Germans coming from post-Soviet countries.
The Tomsk researchers were invited to participate in the conference ‘Identity and Integration of Germans from Russia’ held in the German city of Augsburg on November 8-9, 2014. The topic of the conference was directly related to the issues studied under the project that is to the history of the Germans of Russia, their identity and integration into the German society. The conference was organized by, among others, the well-known German researcher dealing with the history of the Germans of Russia, Dr. Alfred Eisfeld and the Chair of the Augsburg Group of the Fraternity of the Germans of Russia Juri Heiser. Among the honoured guests was the Oberburgermeister of Augsburg Dr. Kurt Gribl. Researchers from Germany, Russia and Ukraine presented at the conference. The LSAR fellows recorded all the research presentations and discussions, including the panel discussion themed ‘Integration as a chance for the society’.
In autumn 2014, the University of Goettingen became a research platform not only for researchers from Tomsk, other Russian researchers from the cities of Moscow, Perm, Krasnodar, and Izhevsk also carried out their research here. More information about University’s visiting research fellows is available on the website of the Department of Theology.