Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Darrell Slider, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Bernd Reiter, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Harry Vanden, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cornelis Boterbloem, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Aranda, Ph.D.


grounded theory, immigration studies, political culture, qualitative


It is a qualitative study about political socialization of first-generation ethnic Russian immigrants in Central and South Florida. The method used is a constructivist grounded theory with two-level coding. Based on data collected in forty in-depth interviews, I constructed a model of political socialization. It incorporates a starting point (the legal status in the US), triggers (English language proficiency, spousal support, and parenting), political socialization agencies (English as Second Language classes, a spouse, volunteering, the church) and output structures (bureaucratic institutions). Using respondents’ opinions about American vs. Russian political systems and mass media, their political participation, and views about political efficacy, I created an original classification of immigrants’ political attitudes and behavior. The classification consists of four groups: the Admirers, the Skeptics, the Incurious, and the Recluses. This study fills the gap in the literature about Russian-speaking immigrants in the US. It also contributes to the cache of micro-theories on immigrant political socialization.