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Low Self-Confidence Among Young Russians a 'Complex Problem'

Professor Marju Lauristin
Professor Marju Lauristin Source: Photo: ERR

A recent survey revealed that over 30 percent of young Russian-speakers in Estonia consider themselves on the lowest rung in society. By contrast, only 12 percent of Estonian speakers had such a negative level of self-esteem.

According to media professor Marju Lauristin, who spoke Thursday at a Tallinn seminar on future leadership called "Freedom's Childen," the low self-esteem of Estonia's Soviet-era immigrants is something that not only Estonia is facing. 

What is serious about the problem here, said Lauristin, is that the disparity with the primary ethnic group is so great.

"It's something that makes one think about the educational system, living environment, quality of life, something that makes one think about families, upbringing and microenvironments," said Lauristin. 
"The fact that there is such a large group of people with low self-esteem is actually the result of very many factors - teachers, parents and local environment, as well as of the media and the Estonian view," said Lauristin, noting that it should largely be seen as a psychological problem.
The professor also pointed out the large number of ambitious young people, which she said showed that stratification was greater in the Russian-speaking community; and that the success of  young Russians was directly tied to language ability, including both English and Estonian proficiency.
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