Rethinking Family in the Context of Migration in Russia

Panel discussion (English and Russian)

In cooperation with the Center for Independent Social Research (CISR) Berlin

With Sergey Abashin (European University, St. Petersburg), Olga Brednikova (CISR, St. Petersburg), Sergey Rumyansev (CISR, Berlin), Manja Stephan-Emmrich (Humboldt Universität)
Chair: Tsypylma Darieva (ZOiS)

Global mass migrations affect the family institution. Often, migrants come to the host country alone, maintaining family relations “at a distance”; in a new place they create new or parallel families adopting other cultural patterns. “On the move” are not only intra-family relations, but, moreover, the very concept of the family is changing. Transnational family arrangements are diverse. The question is, what kind of new forms of transnational family arrangements are emerging between Russia and Central Asia and the Caucasus? The discussants will address the following issues: A “remote” family – what do geographic distances and separation change? The effect of transnationalism – can we talk about mutual influences and “cross-borrowings” in the sphere of family relations? Female migration – a new experience of emancipation or double exploitation of women?


Dr. Sergey Abashin is British Petroleum Professor of Migration Studies at the European University in Saint Petersburg. His research focuses on the anthropology of migration, postcolonial studies and Central Asian studies. His latest book is Sovetskii kishlak: Mezhdu kolonializmom i modernizatsiei [The Soviet Central Asian village: between colonialism and modernization].

Dr. Olga Brednikova is a sociologist and Leading Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Social Research in Saint Petersburg. She is co-editor of the book Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie [Microurbanism: The City in Details]. Her recent project focuses on the transnational practices of migrants who have moved from Central Asia to Russia.

Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich is Professor for Transregional Central Asian Studies at the Institute for Asian and African Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. She co-edited the book Mobilities, Boundaries, and Travelling Ideas. Rethinking Translocality Beyond Central Asia and the Caucasus.

Dr. Tsypylma Darieva is a social anthropologist and senior researcher at ZOiS. Her research interests are in the areas of migration, transnational mobilities and post-socialist urbanity. Her project at ZOiS focuses on the transformation of urban spaces and religious pluralisation in Eurasian cities.