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At home among strangers: The integration and transnational practices of Chinese-born Kazakh returnees in Kazakhstan

Akhmetova, Saltanat (2016) At home among strangers: The integration and transnational practices of Chinese-born Kazakh returnees in Kazakhstan. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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The thesis explores the post-return integration experiences of Chinese-born Kazakh returnees in Kazakhstan. Contemporary migration studies have explored a wide variety of integration processes and transnational practices among immigrants in different countries, however, there are only a limited number of studies on ethnic return migration into post-Soviet countries such as Kazakhstan, a new Central Asian country which emerged as a result of the collapse of Soviet Union at the beginning 1990s. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the newly independent Kazakhstan was a multi-ethnic society dominated by two major ethnic groups – Kazakhs and Russians. As a part of its nation-building policy, Kazakhstan launched an ethnic repatriation program which encouraged Kazakhs abroad to ―come back home‖ in order to help revive Kazakh identity, culture and language, and to contribute to building an independent Kazakh state. Beginning in 1991, around one million Kazakh returnees came to Kazakhstan but their integration into modern Kazakh society became a major challenge for the newly born Central Asian state. This thesis comprises a case study of the integration process of Chinese-born Kazakh returnees Kazakhstan. The complex processes of integration of returnees into modern Kazakhstan are examined by applying the two mainstream concepts of Segmented Assimilation theory and Transnationalism. I argue that although Chinese-born Kazakhs had similar ethnicity, culture, language, and religion to the settled Kazakhs in their ancestral homeland, the returnees tended to be incorporated into different segments of the host society, which encouraged the development of their transnational practices with China, and had led to the development their own ―shifted transnational identity as a reaction to unfavourable external environment in Kazakhstan.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Saltanat Akhmetova
Date Deposited: 16 May 2016 15:19
Last Modified: 16 May 2016 15:19

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