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Paradoxes of Migration in Tajikistan

Locating the good life

Elena Borisova

£30.00

ISBN: 9781800086654

Publication: May 28, 2024

Series: Economic Exposures in Asia

Paradoxes of Migration in Tajikistan is the first ethnographic monograph on migration in Tajikistan, one of the most remittance-dependent countries in the world. Moving beyond economistic push-pull narratives about post-Soviet migration, it foregrounds the experiences of those who ‘stay put’ in the sending society and struggle to reproduce their moral communities. Elena Borisova examines the role of mobility in historical and cultural ideas about the good life and how it becomes entwined with people’s efforts to become good, moral and modern subjects. Addressing the complex relationship between the economic, imaginative and moral aspects of (im)mobility, she shows that mass migration from Tajikistan is as much a project of navigating ethical personhood as it is a quest for economic resources.

This book reveals how transnational regimes and structures of mobility, citizenship and histories map out in the intimate spheres of the body, the person and the family. It is a contribution to contemporary migration research, which is mostly centred on Europe and North America, and to the field of Central Asian studies. It will be of interest to researchers of migration, (im)mobility and citizenship, and to scholars of all disciplines working on Central Asia.

Praise for Paradoxes of Migration in Tajikistan

‘In this vivid and poignant ethnography, grounded in an intimate portrait of life in northern Tajikistan, Borisova shows how migration is much more than a response to economic necessity...Taking us from homes and wedding halls to passport offices and border posts, Borisova illuminates migration as an ethical project inseparable from the search for a good life – an argument of profound relevance for scholars of migration, as well as for students of anthropology.’
Madeleine Reeves, University of Oxford

‘This deeply researched account of the lived experience of migration between Tajikistan and Russia is a must-read for all those interested in Central Asia and the migratory experience more generally. This remarkable book is a testament to anthropology’s relevance for understanding some of the most pressing issues and sensitive world regions of the present era.’
Magnus Marsden, University of Sussex

Paradoxes of Migration in Tajikistan is a masterful account of migrants’ mobility between Tajikistan and Russia. Carefully examining how people live their lives on the move under difficult conditions, Borisova’s lucidly written book is set to become a landmark study in the anthropology of migration.’
Till Mostowlansky, Geneva Graduate Institute

'An amazing book. Borisova offers a rich fieldwork-based account of life in the North of Tajikistan, which is also a delightful read. This work requires a substantial rethinking about how we conceptualise and think of mobility and migration. Paying attention to the politics of care and ethical struggles the book helps a reader to understand what migration is and how it is weaved into everyday fabric of life in Tajikistan.'
Malika Bahovadinova, University of Amsterdam

Elena Borisova is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Department of Anthropology, University of Sussex.

List of figures
Note on transliteration
Glossary and abbreviations
Preface
Acknowledgements

Introduction
Interlude 1: Journeys
1 The mobile place
Interlude 2: Living with Farhod’s family
2 From a ‘cultured man’ to a migrant worker
Interlude 3: Becoming a fiancée
3 Negotiating tradition: between custom and law
Interlude 4: A dutiful son
4 Ambivalences of care
Interlude 5: An ‘illegal’ citizen
5 Chasing the red passport

Conclusion
Epilogue

References
Index

‘In this vivid and poignant ethnography, grounded in an intimate portrait of life in northern Tajikistan, Borisova shows how migration is much more than a response to economic necessity...Taking us from homes and wedding halls to passport offices and border posts, Borisova illuminates migration as an ethical project inseparable from the search for a good life – an argument of profound relevance for scholars of migration, as well as for students of anthropology.’ Madeleine Reeves, University of Oxford


 

'An amazing book. Borisova offers a rich fieldwork-based account of life in the North of Tajikistan, which is also a delightful read. This work requires a substantial rethinking about how we conceptualise and think of mobility and migration. Paying attention to the politics of care and ethical struggles the book helps a reader to understand what migration is and how it is weaved into everyday fabric of life in Tajikistan.'
Malika Bahovadinova, University of Amsterdam


 

'This deeply researched account of the lived experience of migration between Tajikistan and Russia is a must read for all those interested in Central Asia and the migratory experience more generally. This remarkable book is a testament to anthropology's relevance for understanding some of the most pressing issues and sensitive world regions of the present era.'
Magnus Marsden, University of Sussex


 

Paradoxes of Migration in Tajikistan is a masterful account of migrants’ mobility between Tajikistan and Russia. Carefully examining how people live their lives on the move under difficult conditions, Borisova’s lucidly written book is set to become a landmark study in the anthropology of migration.’
Till Mostowlansky, Geneva Graduate Institute


 

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

262 Pages

33 colour photo/halftones

Copyright: © 2024

ISBN: 9781800086654

Publication: May 28, 2024

Series: Economic Exposures in Asia

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