Experiences of educated Turkish migrant women returning from Canada

Combres, Karla
Social science research has been slow to incorporate the international migration of skilled and educated women, and the impacts of their return migration. At the same time, Turkish female migrants have been negatively stereotyped in the literature. This exploratory and descriptive study aims to address these gaps by examining the impacts of emigration and return migration on the social and work lives of educated Turkish women who have returned to Turkey from Canada. Oral history interviews were conducted with six working-age, educated female returnees in Istanbul and Ankara between February and April 2007. Aside from some common features, the six women in this study differ greatly in terms of age, marital status, field of study and work, length of time in Canada and Turkey, and the opportunities and resources available to them throughout their migrations. From the interpretive examination of the women’s narratives, patterns in their subjective social and work life experiences emerged. The issue of gender was found to pervade all aspects of the women’s lives at all stages of their migrations as they negotiated their often contradictory social roles as mothers, wives, daughters, and professionals. This study also reveals that none of the women migrated as an individual actor. Rather, contextual and stratification factors such as marital status, family configuration, language skills, prior exposure to different cultures, socio-economic background, education and labour force participation were found to shape and influence their initial potential for migration, as well as the processes and outcomes of their migrations.


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Citation Formats
K. Combres, “Experiences of educated Turkish migrant women returning from Canada,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2007.