Dennis Lichtenstein, Christiane Eilders and Julija Perlova | PDF-Fulltext
Abstract: The paper examines the social integration process between the Latvian speaking majority and the Russian speaking minority in Latvia´s public discourse. We investigate whether or not the integration of Latvia into the EU may help to overcome the integration deficit between the two groups. Integration theory, public sphere research and identity research are addressed in order to develop an understanding for the conditions of social integration. We conducted a quantitative content analysis of newspapers of the Latvian and Russian community in Latvia. The period of investigation includes the European elections in 2004 and 2009. Results show that both groups share common issues, and identify with the Latvian State and the EU to a similar extent. Nevertheless, the groups show divergent trends over time. This indicates that an increase of integration is rather unlikely.