“Homeland-Rooted” or Acquired in the Receiving Society: How Does the Composition of Migrants’ “Co-Ethnic” Ties Affect Their Patterns of Integration?

Abstract

Contributing to literature on composition of social ties of migrants, this article argues that “co-ethnic” ties, often included into analysis as a homogeneous entity, are either the ones obtained in the sending society, thus connecting a migrant to his relatives and neighbors from the community of origin, or the ones acquired in the receiving society and connecting people from different parts of the sending country. Basing on results of a survey of Kyrgyz migrants in Moscow, the authors show that this distinction is associated with difference in patterns, such as economic advancement, attitude toward ethnic category of belonging, and remitting behavior, which together comprise specific modes of integration for migrants. The explanations of these differences are suggested. Also, the mechanism of change of prevalent type of co-ethnic ties in migrants’ ego-networks from “homeland-rooted” to acquired in the receiving society is described.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    According to the data of the Federal Migration Services of the Russian Federation at the time of the research, the number of foreign citizens who stayed on the territory of Russia oscillated around 10 mln for the last 3 years with almost 2 mln of Uzbek citizens, 800 thousand of Tajik citizens, and 500 thousand of Kyrgyz citizens (Federal Migration Service 2015).

  2. 2.

    Calculated on the basis of Russian Census of 2010 (Russian Census of 2010 2018).

  3. 3.

    There were no reliable and accurate data on the number of Kyrgyz citizens in Moscow at the time of the research, but we can use two sources of numbers as a proxy. First, 85% of Kyrgyz citizens, who obtained work permit for 9 months of 2013, did this in the Moscow region (Kultaeva 2013).

    Second, according to the statistics of the Department of Education of Moscow, Kyrgyz citizens took the second place in the number of all foreign students in Moscow schools (3128 Kyrgyz pupils—12% out of 25,357) preceded only by Ukrainian citizens (4907—19%) (Statistics of the Department of Education of Moscow).

  4. 4.

    Though the survey was launched in Moscow, the quotas were selected basing on national-level data, because, first, there is no reliable data on Moscow and, second, Kyrgyz migrants are most of all concentrated in Moscow.

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Varshaver, E., Rocheva, A. “Homeland-Rooted” or Acquired in the Receiving Society: How Does the Composition of Migrants’ “Co-Ethnic” Ties Affect Their Patterns of Integration?. Int. Migration & Integration (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-019-00742-4

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Keywords

  • Social ties
  • Social networks
  • Ego-networks
  • Migration
  • Integration
  • Russia
  • Kyrgyz migrants
  • Moscow