On 22 May at 14:15 Kristiina Kukk will defend her doctoral thesis "Understanding the vicious circle of segregation: The role of leisure time activities".
Professor Tiit Tammaru, Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu
Professor Ben Derudder, ghent university, Belgium
Migration has been growing globally and it poses questions about integrating the immigrant population in host societies. Socio-economic inequalities often overlap with ethnic marginality and creates segregation in all life domains. This thesis contributes to a better understanding on how segregation is produced and reproduced across different life domains by focussing on ethnic differences in leisure time activities. It finds answers to questions, how did breaking up from the Soviet Union and the subsequent social transformations impact social and ethnic inequalities and segregation? What are the differences between leisure time activities of Estonians and Russians? How have the ethnic differences in leisure time segmentation and segregation evolved with time? And how are ethnic residential segregation and ethnic segregation during leisure time related to each other? Different level data is used in order to answer the research questions: European level indexes, Estonian census data, Time use survey data and in-depth interviews.
The main findings are as follows. In Estonia as a whole, ethnic segmentation is strong in most leisure time activities, but when zooming in on a city level (Tallinn), Estonians and Russians have over time lost the differences in leisure activities. However, the activities still take place in different locations. Leisure segregation occurs in neighbourhoods, between different leisure venues within one neighbourhood and even within one event. But even when there are events where Estonians and Russians both participate, they tend to interact with people of their own ethnicity. When deep and meaningful interactions does occur, they happen mainly between Estonians and strongly assimilated Russians. In conclusion, although leisure segmentation has mostly disappeared, the ethnic segregation is still high and it is linked to preferences as well as to ethnic residential segregation.