Close to God and Far From the USSR: Religious Choices and Immigrant Identities Among Russians in New York City

Katia Yurguis, Fordham University

Abstract

Aside from those of Jewish descent, the religious choices, practices and commitments of Russian immigrants in the United States have yet to be studied to any significant degree. Despite the fact that there exists a large Russian immigrant population in North America, notably in the greater metropolitan New York City area, virtually no scholarship on the topic is currently available. While, undoubtedly, sharing certain experiences with other immigrants in general, and Eastern Europeans in particular, Russian migrants, presumably, constitute a unique case. This dissertation formulates a framework for a qualitative study of Russian immigrants and the interplay between their religious choices and their migrant experience. ^ By looking at the distinctive case of Russian immigrants and their religious lives, it is possible to gain further insight into the impact of religion within the field of migration. The Russian example could potentially emphasize how phenomena such as conversion, re-commitment, religious participation, and belief become salient among expatriates regardless of the religious conditions of the sending countries. This is to say that, by analyzing the religious choices among Russian immigrants, given the specific circumstances regarding religious freedoms and practices both in the former Soviet Union, as well as under the current regime, the existent scholarship on religion and migration could deepen its understanding of the intricacies of said interrelationship, and benefit from a thus far unexplored case study.^

Subject Area

Sociology

Recommended Citation

Yurguis, Katia, "Close to God and Far From the USSR: Religious Choices and Immigrant Identities Among Russians in New York City" (2017). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI10283504.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI10283504

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