Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

<< Issues of external and internal labor migration in post-Soviet Central Asia

Central Asian Migration to Russia: A Soviet Phenomenon, A Soviet Legacy

Jeff Sahadeo (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada)



The Soviet Union facilitated the migration of hundreds of thousands of Central Asians to the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR). This paper will analyze this movement in the post-World-War-II era. It will also examine Central Asian migrant experiences in their new environment of the cities of the Russian heartland, primarily Leningrad and Moscow. Finally, the paper will consider the roles the Soviet legacy plays in the current wave of migration that began after the independence of the Central Asian states. Throughout the Soviet period, state policies and individual decisions, both complex and varied, intertwined in migration patterns from Central Asia to Russia. Central Asian administrators, intellectuals, students, and engineers enjoyed positions of privilege in Leningrad and Moscow. At the same time, Soviet decisions to keep advanced industries in Russia and the western regions of the Soviet Union contributed to the underdevelopment of Central Asia, which drove migrants seeking economic opportunity to the RSFSR. Central Asian migrants faced increased nationalism and racism in Russia in the last decade of the Soviet Union. Nationalism and racism have since worsened, but the links formed between Russia and Central Asia over the period of Soviet rule remain strong.

Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-09-05