Language Education Policy Profile



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1.6 The Linguistic Repertoires of Different Occupational Groups


According to the survey by Richard Rose and William Maley in late 1993, 81 per cent of Lithuania's Russians have lived in Lithuania for 21 or more years. An additional 10 per cent have been resident for 11-20 years, with only 8 per cent of all Russians having lived in Lithuania for 10 or fewer years74. Socially, they are a predominantly urban population, belonging mostly to the work­ing class and technical intelligentsia. Geographically, they are spread all over Lithuania.

The Poles, on the other hand, live mostly in the southeastern part of Lithuania, in the Vilnius and Salcininkai regions. The majority of them are rural inhabitants. Their educational level tends to be low. They are mostly part of a native population who have lived in these regions for centuries. In Lithuania there is an urban-rural divide between Poles.

These differences suggest that the distribution of speakers of minority languages among the different occupational groups may vary. Table 11 shows the percentage of Lithuanian, Russian, Polish etc. native speakers in each occupational group, when each language group is analysed separately. Thus, 7.3% of all those who claim Lithuanian as their native/mother tongue, and who are actively in the labour force, are ‘legislators, senior officers or managers, compared to 5.2% of Russian native speakers, 3.4% of native Polish speakers, 3.1% and so on.

Table 11: Percentage of those in the Labour Force who claim selected languages as their Native/Mother Tongue, classified by Occupational Group



Occupation/

Socio-economic category



Native language /Mother tongue

Lithuanian

Russian

Polish

Belarussian

Other

%

%

%

%

%

Legislators, senior officers, managers

7.3

5.2

3.4

3.1

7.8

Professionals

13.4

11.0

6.5

7.6

12.0

Technicians, associate professionals

8.6

6.7

5.0

5.7

6.3

Clerks

3.8

3.5

3.5

3.0

2.1

Service, shop, market

9.4

9.7

10.5

8.7

8.6

Skilled agricultural and fisheries workers

9.2

3.4

8.7

4.4

5.0

Craft and related trade workers

11.4

15.5

14.1

18.8

13.2

Plant and machinery operators

9.4

10.4

13.0

14.8

8.9

Elementary occupations

5.7

6.6

9.1

10.5

6.6

Armed forces

0.9

0.7

0.5

0.1

0.3

Not indicated (employed)

1.2

1.8

1.0

0.7

2.0

Unemployed

19.7

25.5

24.7

22.6

27.5

TOTAL

100

100

100

100

100

Nos. (thous)

1257

137

88

8

8

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