“Returning Home”: Experiences of British-Kurdish Young People in Kurdistan-Iraq

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 09:36
Location: Hörsaal 07 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Janroj Yilmaz KELES, Middlesex Uiversity, United Kingdom
“Returning home”: Experiences of British-Kurdish young people in Kurdistan-Iraq

The phenomenon of “return” migration has not only become an important feature of sociology of migration but is also an emerging issue of economic and political significance. A significant number of British citizens with Kurdish ethnic background, in particular young people born and/or educated in the UK have left to Kurdistan–Iraq to work in the public and recently booming private sector industries including education, health, oil and communication sectors. However, little is known about the motivations and the decision-making of the British-Kurdish young “returnees”.

This paper discusses the strategies used by returnees to build (digital) social networks and the process of settlement, adaptation and socio-economic participation in their “new” home. The “returnees” play a crucial role in post-conflict reconstruction, however as we know from the literature every return migration entails cultural, political and economic disappointments and conflict in the imagined homeland.  This paper will analyse the social and political structural problems and cultural values causing disappointment among some “returnees” and led to a sense of alienation and circular migration back to the UK or elsewhere.