Kyrgyz Middlemen in Guangzhou – Business-making and More in China’s “Factory of the World”

Kyrgyz Middlemen in Guangzhou – Business-making and More in China’s “Factory of the World”

March 25, 2014


March 25, 2014

Dr. Philipp Schröder

Abstract: Most commonly when speaking about “Kyrgyz migrants abroad” associations arise of underpaid laborers in large cities of Western Russia, where many of them face arduous housing conditions and are haunted by xenophobic violence or police raids. A recent trend in Central Asian Anthropology thus has become to investigate such migrants’ life-worlds, the flow and use of the remittances they send, as well as the changes in their home societies that relate to such mobility patterns.

In the lecture Philipp Schröder attempted to complement these crucial efforts by drawing a slightly different picture of Kyrgyz migrants. His ethnographic observations focus on a group of middlemen residing in Guangzhou (China) and touch on business-making and consumption, community and identity. To further illustrate these aspects, he also drew a comparison with the “translocal livelihoods” of Kyrgyz traders in Novosibirsk (Russia), which is another angle in his ongoing fieldwork project. Finally, this will lead to some more general insights on the past, present and potential future of “the China business” for Kyrgyz entrepreneurs.”


Bio: Philipp Schröder studied Cultural/Social Anthropology and Political Sciences at the University of Tübingen, the Free University Berlin and the Humboldt University of Berlin. From 2006 until 2011 he was a member of the research group on ‘Integration and Conflict’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale.

In 2012 he joined the Humboldt University of Berlin to work on his post doc-project entitled ‘The “China-Business” – An Ethnography of Kyrgyz Traders and their Translocal Livelihoods in-between 'Home', China, and Russia’.

Philipp Schröder has taught at the Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, the American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), the Humboldt University of Berlin, as well as during various summer schools funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).

His research interests focus on Urban Anthropology, Social Networks, Youth (Cultures), Identity, Integration and Conflict, Migration and Mobility, Economic Anthropology, Central Asia and Eurasia (in particular Kyrgyzstan and Russia).

<< go to news list

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028
AUCA Contacts