“The strengths of this book lie in the author’s analytical approach, creative methodologies, and the breadth of her empirical work. Sanders offers an important perspective on migration by looking at how it impacts those who do not leave. By triangulating what people say with how they think and behave, she points to the contradictions inherent in everyday understandings of ethnicity and belonging.”• Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI)
“Sanders’ [seminal study] is a significant contribution to the literature on diaspora, migration and minority studies.”• Euro-Asia Studies
“This comprehensive study of the German-Kazakhstanis provides a thoughtful analysis of post-Soviet identity/ethnicity/nationality entanglements. Anyone interested in these issues would benefit by reading this book.”• Slavic Review
“Ethnographically rich, the study is based on a fertile mix of quantitative and qualitative methods such as pile sorting, free listing, network analysis, genealogy, participant observation and interviewing of all sorts. The author convincingly demonstrates that not leaving is nonetheless a dynamic lifestyle which demands efforts of fine-tuning and readjustment to a changing social environment.” • Florian Mühlfried, University Jena, Germany
Despite economic growth in Kazakhstan, more than 80 per cent of Kazakhstan’s ethnic Germans have emigrated to Germany to date. Disappointing experiences of the migrants, along with other aspects of life in Germany, have been transmitted through transnational networks to ethnic Germans still living in Kazakhstan. Consequently, Germans in Kazakhstan today feel more alienated than ever from their ‘historic homeland’. This book explores the interplay of those memories, social networks and state policies, which play a role in the ‘construction’ of a Kazakhstani German identity.
Rita Sanders is a Research Project Member at the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the University of Cologne. She has worked as a lecturer at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.