2012 Fellows | February 6, 2013

SSRC Dissertation Development Fellow Nicole Butkovich Kraus

Constructing Xenophobia: Geography, Gender, and Generation of Nation in the Russian Federation

Discipline: Sociology

University at Time of Fellowship: University of Wisconsin - Madison

Project Description:

In the context of globalization and migration, this dissertation analyzes xenophobia and social exclusion in the Russian Federation. This work enhances traditional stratification approaches to intergroup relations by emphasizing conceptual clarity and contextualization of xenophobic attitudes toward both domestic minority and foreign religo-ethnic groups. Synthesizing theories of race and nation, I suggest we assess the nature of prejudice more clearly if we conceptualize it as a spectrum of emotional-types. I provide empirical support that demonstrates different predictors of hostility-prejudice and fear-prejudice and further suggests group-focused theories of exclusion ignore important within-group variation in attitudes. I use a variety of statistical methods including hierarchical liner models, logistic regression models, and analysis of change in attitudes over time to analyze multiple datasets of ethnic Russians collected from 2003-2011. Regional variation in xenophobia suggests that economic and demographic circumstances of where a person lives may shape how and whether Russians feel xenophobic toward particular groups. While xenophobia continues to play a critical role in Russian politics and policy, there is mixed evidence that Russians at large hold extremist views.


Nicole M. Butkovich Kraus’ research interests include xenophobia and nationalism, race/class/gender theory, stratification, and qualitative and quantitative methods. Nicole is an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty and the Center for Demography and Ecology at UW-Madison. Nicole was recently featured in the SSRC webinar ‘By the Numbers’ as an expert on Russian data sources. Her current research projects include a multilevel analysis of xenophobic attitudes throughout the regions of the Russian Federation as well as a theoretical paper on different forms of prejudice.

Hear Nicole discuss data sources on Eurasia in the Webinar “By the Numbers: Quantitative Data Sources in Eurasian Studies

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