Socio-spatial logic of migrant communities functioning in Moscow
Evgeni Varshaver (Higher School of Economics)
Paper short abstract:
The presentation is based on collective sociological project that aims to detect migrant communities in Moscow, describe them and explore their social and spatial logic.
Paper long abstract:
Moscow accommodates intensive flows of migrants both from other parts of Russia and from former Soviet Union states. By means of different sorting mechanisms Moscow places migrants on different levels of local social stratification structure and suggests different social circles or communities for them. The research aims to detect migrant communities that emerge in Moscow, make a classification of such communities, describe each type in terms of community participants, activities and social functions and explore social and spatial logic of their emergence. Due to absence of ethnic districts in Moscow communities were approached through ethnic cafeterias. Up to 100 cafeterias were explored among which about 40 were "containing" communities. Four clusters of communities were defined. Muslim poly-ethnic communities were detected in cafeterias next to mosques, corporate communities emerge near work places, where migrants are majority, Azeri business communities are active in tens of Azeri restaurants and cafeterias that cover the whole city, and compatriotcommunities connect people from same regions in sending countries. An important finding that, however, cannot be classified as a community is a Kyrgyz society that started to emerge in Moscow 5-7 years ago and achieved high level of institutional completeness including closed Kyrgyz nightclubs where young Kyrgyz men and women become acquainted. The project results include maps that describe spatial distribution of ethnic cafeterias with communities, classification of communities and in-depth description of each cluster.
The causes and diversity of migration processes (IUAES Commission on Migration and Diaspora)