Globalization of migration: what like modern world can learn from nomadic cultures.

Author:Abazov, Rafis

The globalization of the modern world has stimulated a steep rise in migration to locations both near and far, supported by many factors. The development of sophisticated modern transportation systems and networks making it much easier, cheaper and faster for people to move than at any time in history has been one such factor. Yet, the social and cultural dimensions of the attitudes towards migrants and relations between locals and newcomers are not always easy and not always harmonious. In many countries around the world, migrants and migration are among the most hotly debated topics and ones that are, indeed, not easy to address. At the same time, there have been societies--such as the traditional Kazakhs--that moved constantly from one place to another and developed a whole cultural universe of social norms and perceptions around migration and movement of people. Can the modern world learn how to address the issues of migration from these nomadic cultures?


Our modern post-industrial societies and economies require that skills, expertise and experience be mobile and easily transferable to various geographic locations both inside and outside the boundaries of nation-states, to the tune of 200 million international migrants and 740 million internal migrants, as estimated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Innovation and competition, as well as rapid development of information and communication technologies and new media require speedy recruitment, deployment and redeployment of talent into specific, sometimes unpredictable, locations around the world. Yet, pre-industrial and industrial era perceptions, attitudes and social norms continue to build various barriers to population movement, such as concerns about the security of local jobs, cultural compatibility and difficulties with integration into local cultures and societies.

Nomadic cultures, unlike settled communities in preindustrial and industrial eras, have had to deal constantly with various aspects of migration. Take, for example, the nomads in the Kazakh culture. 'They had to deal with economic, cultural and social aspects of population movement. Nomadic societies, however, have tended to manage priorities in quite different ways. Unlike modern industrial and post-industrial societies where economic considerations rule, nomadic societies often prioritize cultural and social dimensions and only incorporate the economic aspects after that.


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