Presentation on theme: "GEORGIAN IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION: A STUDY OF REPATRIATED MESKHETIANS PhD Research Proposal Presentation Duration of the research project: 3 years Mariam."— Presentation transcript:
GEORGIAN IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION: A STUDY OF REPATRIATED MESKHETIANS PhD Research Proposal Presentation Duration of the research project: 3 years Mariam Darchiashvili Ilia State University The School of Graduate Studies Department of Social Sciences
Content Introduction and ground theories Historical review Hypothesis and central research question Methodology Relevance of the research to policy fields
Introduction Main theories of nationalism and ethnicity; Special focus on constructivist approaches; Criticism to constructivism
Historical overview Identity of Meskhetians before and after their Islamization; Meskhetians between Tsarist Russia and Ottoman Empire; Soviet Russia and its policy towards Meskhetians; Waves of deportation; Conditions of Meskhetians after the liberalization of Soviet regime – conflict in the Fergana Valley in Uzbekistan; (Self) repatriation and migration of Meskhetians in the second half of 20 th century; Georgias international obligations regarding Meskhetians.
Historical residence of Meskhetians Region of Samtskhe- Javakheti Administrative center Akhaltsikhe
The Hypothesis and Central Research Question Hypothesis Meskhetians differ according to the place of residence. The identity of Meskhetians living in Azerbaijan varies in terms of perceptions and affiliations from those living either in Ukraine, Russia, United States or Uzbekistan. Even those living in Georgia differ according to regions, influences and interactions with host communities. In this regard, identity is a dependent variable on economic, political, cultural, religious, informational, ecological, language factors/variables. Research Question How does the identity construction work? What provokes and influences it the most? What is the relation between following variables collective/community identity (construction) and cultural, political, economic, religious and other types of effects/influences.
Methodology Desk research - document examination and literature review of scientific/historical articles, articles from newspapers and magazines, etc. Research topics: Studies, (historical/science/media) articles on Meskhetians; analytical, theoretical and methodological approaches; academic, societal and media attitudes in general towards the issue; Comparative studies of Meskhetians living conditions; causes of Meskhetians mobility around the world; Nationhood – Where is the center of Meskhetians in the world (as they are more around the world than in Georgia), do they have standardized language, alphabet, or myth; Causes and motivations of Meskhetians desire about coming/returning to Georgia; A study of political strategies towards Meskhetians and the process of their repatriation; an examination of political documents, decisions, resolutions and laws developed – national/international;
Methodology Participant observation - collecting accessible information about the everyday practice of Meskhetian people through the focused observation on the community Target group – Meskhetians living in Georgia Research interests: Family and kin networks; Community ties; Religion, religious gatherings/engagement and practices among the members of the community; A study of traditions, rituals and ceremonies; A study of memories, narrative of displacement and construction of ethnicity.
Methodology In-depth interviews and focus groups for studying attitudes towards Meskhetians Target group: Meskhetians, representatives of host communities, field experts, media representatives, political authorities. Research subjects: Attitudes towards Meskhetians, their language, religion, culture; Study of interactions among Meskhetians and either host community representatives or the dominant sector of the Georgian society; Level of trust between Meskhetians and either host community representatives or the dominant sector of the society; Neutral, optimal and not discriminatory name for Meskhetians who returned and who are to be repatriated; discussion of the names towards Meskhetians; Best ways for Meskhetians settlement/resettlement regarding integration into the society, employment and selfrealisation;
Relevance of the research to policy fields Sensitiveness of the issue; State agencies facilitating the process of repatriation; My research besides other objectives aims at fostering recommendations regarding Meskhetians integration with the dominant segment of Georgian society.