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Susan Thieme (2009)

Where is Back? Different Ideas of Remigration and Possible Consequences for Rural Development in Kyrgyzstan*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 34, 3-4/2009, p. 253-274, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398, DOI: 10.1007/s01253-010-0045-y

Abstract: The capital Bishkek, as well as Russia and Kazakhstan, are important workplaces for the population from the rural South of Kyrgyzstan. Migration enables younger men and women in particular to improve their income prospects, but also to gain access to educational facilities and to turn away from traditions such as early marriage. Very few children or older people migrate, the latter remaining in their home villages. Whilst older people presume that this separation of the families is temporary, the younger ones start to separate from their rural places of origin and to settle in other urban locations. This has long-term consequences for the development of rural areas. The article describes the increasingly multilocal lifestyles of the population of Kyrgyzstan and the fact that migrants do not return to their rural region of origin or that their return is delayed. This failure to return has so far unresearched consequences for the development of rural areas. Particular relevance attaches here to the worsening labour shortages, to the dependence of the rural population on remittances and to changing family structures which place in question care of children and older people.

* peer-reviewed article (original German title: Wohin ist zurück? Unterschiedliche Vorstellungen von Rückkehrmigration und mögliche Folgen für die ländliche Entwicklung in Kirgistan)

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