Pihla Maria Siim: Discourses of Difference and Sameness: Estonian Return Migrants Reflecting on (non)Belonging

Speaker: Pihla Maria Siim (Tartu/Turku)
Chair: Oksana Alekseev (Greifswald)

Drawing on face-to-face and online interviews, the presentation examines the way in which Estonians reflect on their (possible) return to their home country from different parts of the world. The focus of the presentation lies in discourses of difference and sameness the interviewees used while narrating their experiences both abroad and in Estonia. The narratives of interviewees reveal the ambivalence of identity positions available for them: the ways they are positioned and valued by other members of the society. The interviewees employ counter-speech to challenge categorizations – such as East-Europeans and ‘convenience refugees’ – imposed on them. However, this strategy can also be controversial, strengthening the stereotypes and increasing intragroup or intergroup tensions. Returnees often acknowledge that their identity position as Estonians is problematic in many ways. Many state that they rather feel a sense of togetherness with “other foreigners” in Estonia.

Thursdays, 18.15–19.45
Rubenowstr. 1, Lecture Hall 1
University of Greifswald

For online participation, please write to: balticsea-eventsuni-greifswaldde

Organisation: Antje Kempe & Clemens Räthel

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