This paper tests a set of hypotheses about the impact of urbanization and geographical mobility on the linguistic Russification of 46 Soviet nationalities. The hypotheses are based on theoretical literature regarding the differing career aspirations of urban and rural residents, Soviet policies of providing native-language cultural facilities to non-Russian groups, and the probable levels of contact between non-Russians and Russians in specific residential settings. The data are aggregate data on place of residence, nationality, and native language derived from the 1959 Soviet Census. It is shown that (a) both urbanization and geographical dispersion have substantial Russificatory effects, (b) geographical dispersion (residence outside the official national area of the group) alone has a stronger impact on Russification than does urban residence, and (c) residence inside the official national territory partially suppresses what might otherwise be an even stronger Russificatory effect of urbanization, so that (d) urban residence and residence outside the official national area interact to produce a higher level of Russification than one might predict on the basis of the simple additive effects of urban and outside residence. It is also shown that males are more highly Russified than females in all of the residential settings examined but that these differences are quite small, especially for urbanites and residents outside the official national area.

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