In the Southern Caucasus and the Black Sea Region
Edited By Ghia Nodia and Christoph H. Stefes
Georgian Migrants in Turkey: Reconstruction of Gender and Family Dynamics
Migration in Georgian Society
ABSTRACT: Drawn from a qualitative survey conducted in Kutaisi, Georgia and in Istanbul, Turkey, this chapter argues that migration tends to occupy a structural position in Georgian society. As a significant proportion of migrants are women (up to 65% in Greece and Turkey), many of whom leave behind spouses and children, it is worthwhile addressing the family and gendered outputs of migration. As Georgians enjoy particularly favourable conditions in regard to Turkish visa policies, we argue that Turkey/Georgia space has become a “circulatory territory” and that a highly gendered Turkish-Georgian “migratory system” is to be found. This generates specific behaviour patterns, norms and values that are mainly related to how to conciliate men’s social role and women de facto autonomy.
KEYWORDS: Georgia, Turkey, circulatory migration, gender, family
Within the context of increasingly complex international migration, the particular case of mobility between Georgia and Turkey significantly exemplifies a number of important global socio-demographic and geopolitical developments. These include, in particular, the increasing feminization of labour migration (Anthias and Lazaridis, 2000; Reysoo, 2004), this being a somewhat overlooked aspect of regional integration in the Black Sea area.
The demise of the Soviet Union profoundly upset the global geopolitical balance and the frameworks of social practices and perceptions amongst people in the post-Soviet space. Within this space, the Republic of Georgia is endowed with a particularly rich experience of social and economic changes, having once been one of the most prosperous republics in the Soviet...
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