Locals and immigrants on the Yamal Peninsula. Social boundaries and variations in migratory experience
Western Siberia and the entire Arctic region have been a beacon for migrants from the European part of Russia, from the national republics and the southern regions of Siberia in the post-war era. In contrast with the other regions of Siberia, the oil- and gas-rich North remains a magnet for migration from the entire former Soviet Union to this day. This paper presents research into the contemporary socio-cultural environment of Yar-Sale, the administrative centre of the Yamal district of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The research focuses on the migrational experiences of ‘new’ migrants and their relations with the native Nenets population. Special attention is paid to concepts such as ‘local’/‘immigrant’, and ‘insider’/‘outsider’. The author holds that the boundaries between these categories are flexible. An immigrant may become a local and an insider may become an outsider, with ethnicity far from always being the deciding factor.