Exploring "North" and "South" in post-Soviet Bishkek: discourses and perceptions of rural-urban migration

Flynn, M. and Kosmarskaya, N. (2012) Exploring "North" and "South" in post-Soviet Bishkek: discourses and perceptions of rural-urban migration. Nationalities Papers, 40(3), pp. 453-471. (doi: 10.1080/00905992.2012.685061)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00905992.2012.685061


In this paper we explore, through the narratives and perspectives of “old residents” in post-Soviet Bishkek, the dominant discourse which has emerged towards rural migrants arriving to the city from other areas of Kyrgyzstan from the late Soviet period onwards. We investigate the existence of a primarily “antagonistic” discourse in relation to the migrants and analyze this in detail to understand how it illuminates wider concerns amongst residents about what is occurring in their city, and about wider processes of social change in Kyrgyzstan. The paper provides a revealing insight into the processes of urban change in post-Soviet Central Asia, and demonstrates the ways in which confrontation with the everyday harsh realities of post-Soviet transformation can lead to the negative “othering” of one group of urban residents by another. We also demonstrate how the “old residents'” perceptions of migrants reveal important insights into emerging notions and constructions of identity in the post-Soviet period, related in this case to understandings of “North” and “South' and related concepts of what is “urban” and what is “Kyrgyz”.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Flynn, Dr Moya and Kosmarskaya, Dr Natalia
Authors: Flynn, M., and Kosmarskaya, N.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:Nationalities Papers
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1465-3923
Published Online:23 May 2012

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