Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Experiencing Liminality
by Osmonova, Kishimjan, Ph.D., Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany), 2016, 287; 27731779
Abstract (Summary)

The dissertation aims to answer the research question of what it means for various groups of individuals to live in Astana on a daily basis. As the new capital, Astana attracted a large number of internal migrants from various parts of Kazakhstan, who searched for better prospects and lives. Officially, the new capital is promoted by Kazakhstan’s government as “city of the future” and regards it as President Nazarbayev’s (1991-2019) most successful project. The dissertation offers an ethnographic contribution to urban experiences of migrants in Central Asia. The dissertation is divided into five main chapters. Chapter one offers an introduction to the theme and outlines major theoretical framework and the methodology on which the research is based. I apply the theory of the co-production of space (the social production and social construction of space) outlined by Setha Low to integrate the ‘spatial’ aspect as an integral part of my research. In addition, I employ the concept of liminality (Turner, 1967, Thomassen, 2014) as the central idea to analyze the stories of my informants. Within this framework, I argue that Astana’s unique urban space supports the emergence of liminal personae, liminal housing arrangements, lifestyles and career aspirations which are mutually connected and influence each other. Accordingly, the second chapter describes the newcomers who are defined as ‘priezzhie’ and occupy an in-between status. The third chapter looks at housing and focuses on renting in shared flats. The fourth chapter is about the dating experiences of young women. The last chapter is about achieving success and career aspirations of newcomers. In conclusion, I argue that liminality explains the temporary fixation of the ambiguous, conflicting, and unstable order which has emerged for many newcomers in Astana.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Baldauf , Ingeborg , Stephan-Emmrich , Manja
School: Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin (Germany)
School Location: Germany
Source: DAI-C 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies
Publication Number: 27731779
ISBN: 9781392671351
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