Labor Migration in Qatar: A Study on the Identity of Second Generation Migrants


  • Hazal Muslu El Berni Kadir Has University



Serbia, EXPO, mega-event, urban ephemera, brand image, gastronomy


Second generation migrants who were born or grew up in Qatar and studied in the same schools and environment with their Qatari counterparts represent a different case than migrant labor workers who move to Qatar through a sponsorship agreement for temporary purposes. The identity construction of second generation migrants is an issue that requires a further research since the research on international migration in the GCC countries tends to focus on low-income migrant workers with regard to human rights issues and kafala (sponsorship) agreement. There is a lack of research which intends to analyze the perceptions of second generation migrants about the characteristics of their identity and, their commonalities and differences with Qatari youth. This study mainly questions the identity construction process of second generation migrants in Qatar, how they reshape their identity and to what extent they can narrow the social gap between their Qatari counterparts and themselves.


Metrics Loading ...


Al-Najjar, B. (2013). Foreign Labor and Questions of Identity in the Arabian Gulf. Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies, 3, 109-123.

Attiya, A. (2012). Beyond Labor: Foreign Residents in the Persian Gulf States. In Mehran Kamrava & Zahra Babar (Ed.), Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf. London: Hurst & Company, 21-41.

Babar, Z. (2011). Free Mobility within the Gulf Cooperation Council. Center for International and Regional Studies. Qatar: Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service.

Brewer, M. B. (2001). The Many Faces of Social Identity: Implications for Political Physiology. Political Physiology 22(1), 115-125.

Burke, P. (2004). Identities and Social Structure: The 2003 Cooley-Mead Award Address. Social Physiology 67(1), 5-15.

Deaux, K. (2001). Social Identity. Encyclopaedia of Women and Gender 1(2), 1-9. Farsoun, S. K. (1988). Class Structure and Social Change in the Arab World. In Nicholas S. Hopkins & Saad Eddin Ibrahim (Ed.), Arab Society: Class, Gender, Power & Development. Egypt: The American University Cairo Press.

Gardner, A., Pessoa, S., Diop, A., Al-Ghanim, K., Le Trung, K., Harkness, L. (2013). A Portrait of Low-Income Migrants in. Contemporary Qatar. Journal of Arabian Studies: Arabia, the Gulf and the Red Sea, 3, 1-17.

Glaser, B. & Strauss, A. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. New Jersey: Aldine Transaction.

Hesse-Biber, S, & Leavy, P. (2011). The Practice of Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications.

Hogg, M. A., Deborah J. Terry and Katherine M. White (1995). A Tale of Two Theories: A Critical Comparison of Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory. Social Physiology Quarterly 58, 4:255-269.

Jenkins, R. (2008). Social Identity. New York: Routledge.

Kamrava, M. & Babar, Z. (2012). Situating Labor Migration in the Persian Gulf. In Mehran Kamrava and Zahra Babar (Ed.), Migrant Labor in the Persian Gulf. London. London: Hurst & Company, 1-21.

Khaalaf, S. & Alkobaisi, S. (1999). Migrants Strategies of Coping and Patterns of Accommodation in the Oil-Rich Gulf Societies: Evidence from the UAE. British Journal for Middle Eastern Studies 26(2), 271-298.

Korte, R. (2007). A Review of Social Identity Theory with Implications for Training and Development. Journal of European Industrial Training 31(3), 166-180.

Kumar, R. (2012). Research Methodology: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners. London: Sage Publications.

Malecki E. J. & Ewers, M. C. (2007). Labor Migration to World Cities: With a Research Agenda for the Arab Gulf. Progress in Human Geography 31(4), 467–484.

Rubin, H. J. & Rubin, I. S. (2012). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data. London: Sage Publications. Qatar Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. February 2017. The Number of Non- Qatari Residents. Retrieved from

Qatar Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics. First Quarter of 2017. Economically Active Qatari Population. Retrieved from

Scurry, T., Rodriguez, K., & Bailouni, S. (2013). Narratives of Identity Self- Initiated Expatriates in Qatar. Career Development International 18(1), 12-33.

Shah, N. (2012). Socio-Demographic Transitions among Nationals of GCC Countries: Implications for Migration and Labor Force Trends. Migration and Development 1(1), 138-148.

Stryker, S. (1987). Identity theory: Developments and Extensions. In K. Yardley & T. Honess (Ed.), Self and Identity (pp. 89-104). New York: Wiley.

Tajfel, H. (1972). Social categorization. English manuscript of ‘La Catégorisation Sociale.’ In S. Moscovici (Ed.), Introduction à la Psychologie Sociale, 1, 272–302.

Tapper, A. J. H. (2013). A Pedagogy of Social Justice Education: Social Identity Theory, Intersectionality and Empowerment. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 30 (4), 411-445.

Thoits, P. A. (1991). On Merging Identity Theory and Stress Research. Social Psychology Quarterly 54, 101-12.




How to Cite

El Berni, H. M. (2018) “Labor Migration in Qatar: A Study on the Identity of Second Generation Migrants”, Border Crossing. London, UK, 8(2SI), pp. 479–497. doi: 10.33182/bc.v8i2SI.610.