American University of Central Asia - AUCA - The Concept of a Good Girl and a Bad Girl

Research Topic:

The Concept of a Good Girl and a Bad Girl in the Context of Labor Migration from Kyrgyzstan to Russia

by Gulniza Taalaibekova, Senior Student, Anthropology Department, AUCA

Supervisor: Dr. Ruslan Rahimov, Associate Professor, Anthropology Department

It is well known that the number of young girls, who are travelling from Kyrgyzstan to Russia as labor migrants, has been increasing lately. Some of them have not even been to Bishkek or other big cities in Kyrgyzstan, and when they arrive in Moscow, they face many obstacles such as language barrier, culture shock, discrimination, sexism, and even violence as in the case with the criminal group of “Patrioty”.

Their struggles are not limited to Russia only, when they come back home to Kyrgyzstan they are stigmatized as “bad” girls (жаман кыз). Besides, this general information there has been little research done on this phenomenon and little is known about lives of young female migrants in Russia.

As the topic of my senior thesis, I chose “The concept of a good girl and a bad girl in the context of labor migration from Kyrgyzstan to Russia”. My research will contribute to understanding more about lives of young female migrants and obstacles they face as migrants: female migrants, who are not married yet. However, I will not limit my research to problems of young female migrants only.

In order to fully grasp their situation, I am planning to go on a fieldwork to Moscow to conduct participant observation and interview young female migrants and social workers such as Urmat Baimatova, who help female migrants in need of help. I believe immersing myself into their environment will enable me to build a rapport with my interviewees and collect quality first-hand data.

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

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