Accepted paper:

Central Asian migrants in Tomsk (South-Western Siberia, Russia). Where next?

Author:

Dmitriy Oparin (Moscow State University )

Paper short abstract:

The paper focuses on Central Asian labour migrants in Tomsk urban region, their aspirations, dimensions of identity and sense of belonging. I am interested in the place of Tomsk in their personal migration strategies.

Paper long abstract:

Western Siberia has been a beacon for migrants from the European part of Russia, from the national republics and the southern regions of Siberia in the post-war era. In contrast with the other regions of Siberia, the oil- and gas-rich North remains a magnet for migration from the entire former Soviet Union to this day. This paper presents research into the contemporary sociocultural environment of Tomsk urban space (South-Western Siberia). The research focuses on the migrational experiences of ‘new’ migrants and their hopes, destination desires, personal and professional ambitions. I am interested in the place of Tomsk in personal migration strategies of the labour migrants from Central Asian countries. Do they want to stay in Tomsk, or do they want to return back to Central Asia or move forward to the European Russia, particularly Moscow and St. Petersburg? How is belonging to the city expressed? What is home for them? Why have they chosen to come to Tomsk? Through the local identity and migration strategies of the informants I am going to reveal intensity of their social ties, their aspirations and different dimensions of identity.

panel P089
Stranded in transit. Why people stay, move or settle in a place they wanted to pass through