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The article presents the results of interviews with residents of Yekaterinburg (N = 485) and ethnic migrants from Central Asia (N = 231), which reveal the current forms of interaction between the host society and migrants from different countries, and the problem of mutual rejection that determines the growth of social conflicts. The authors identify key barriers hindering the mutual adaptation of the host society and migrants that are based on cultural differences and, thus, require a careful work with cultural identity as a determinant of interethnic interaction. However, the theoretical analysis proves the lack of a clear unambiguous interpretation of the ‘cultural identity’ concept that is necessary for the analysis of contem-porary social processes under the international migrations and intercultural communications. The article aims to prove the importance of both considering ‘cultural identity’ as a special analytical category and developing the common cultural identity in the process of mutual adaptation and integration of the Rus-sians and ethnic migrants. The authors use the constructivist approach and define ‘identity’ as a result of the identification process and a flexible element that can be changed according to the social situation. Thus, cultural patterns should become the basis of interethnic relations to ensure social well-being and stability, and cultural identity is to be the most important social construct to reduce social tensions de-termined by ethnic migrations. The development of a common social identity consists of several stages: first the common civil identity is to be formed, then the common cultural identity of the host society and ethnic migrants.

I B Britvina

Principal contact for editorial correspondence.
Ural Federal University Mira St., 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russia

P A Shumilova
Ural Federal University Mira St., 19, Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russia

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