A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPS) AS A SOCIAL IDENTITY: A CASE STUDY FOR GEORGIAN IDPS

2021-8-4
Gürsoy, Hazar
This thesis analyzes the social identification process of internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Georgia within the scope of Social Identity Theory of Tajfel and Turner (1978). The study focuses on the influential components of the identity formation process of the Georgian IDPs, who have been displaced through several migration waves in two different periods (early 1990s and 2008) from both Abkhazia and South Ossetia due to ethnic conflicts. In order to analyze IDP’s self-identification, the research focuses on two main dimensions. While the first dimension is the external definition of IDP identity by the host community, which stigmatizes it over the course of the post-Soviet period; the second dimension is the self-attributed characteristics (i.e., sedulity, unity, coming from the same region) and perceptions of IDPs on certain concepts (i.e., shared trauma, in-group favoritism, home, homeland and the wish to return) which strengthen and transform IDP identity from a stigmatized pattern towards a positive one. Based on the data collected in Georgia between 2014 and 2017 through in-depth interviews with civil society experts, state officials, politicians, academicians and the IDPs from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, who migrated to Georgia proper in different periods, the self-identification process and behavioral patterns of IDPs, the Georgian social context and IDPs’ social interaction with the out-group agencies (host community, state and civil society) are elaborated thoroughly.
Citation Formats
H. Gürsoy, “A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPS) AS A SOCIAL IDENTITY: A CASE STUDY FOR GEORGIAN IDPS,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.