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CCC (alternative)

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by

Elisabeth Verniers

on 29 April 2010

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Transcript of CCC (alternative)

Concepts cases introduction
Identification
in the context
of migration what have we been researching? what did we do?
and how?
Why?
what is the role of migration in the life and identification process of people? and what or whom do they identify with? how do immigrants perceive the reality of migration in their lives? we conducted
life histories of 5
participants who
all have migrated
in a different context
understand the meaning
of a particular migration context because when it comes to identity, it is about
lived and perceived realities, not about statistics understand the relation between
migration, belonging and identity construction each of us interviewed a
participant of our thesis research
according to the life history method common questions we focussed on: timeline agency
past present
future
identity
membership
belonging agency
habitus diaspora
Asia
Majd
Louis
Naci
her story what she identifies with
the Chechen diaspora financial,
marital and
procedural problems first phase of the conflict: 1994-’96

second phase of the conflict: 1999-2006

wave of refugees to Europe since the second phase

now:
oppressive regime by Ramzan Kadyrov
continuing migration out of Chechnya


she came to Belgium in 2003 because her husband was threatened by Russian soldiers (he had fought in the first conflict)

she, her husband and her two sons fled to Ingushetia

they stayed there for a while and than went to Belgium in the back of truck

the family enabled them financially to make the journey

family: husband, two little sons, the daughters of her brother-in-law, mother-in-law

she's not living with her husband anymore, but he comes over quite often

occupation: followed Dutch courses, did a VDAB-training in sales, currently unemployed and caring for 4 children But:
she manages to deal with all of them
she thinks of herself as an independent woman with two nationalities
she wants her children to grow up, find a job, and remain in Belgium
states that she adopted 'Belgian' elements in her identity, although she will never forget her 'Chechenness'
still, the events in Chechnya and the losses she suffered way heavily on her happiness
concept of diaspora
can be used to understand
this reality why? capture the experience
of being an immigrant focus on the meaning of migration
and the link between and identity holistic approach:
look at the whole life of our participants
because we believe everything is interlinked although we used migration theories,
they are often simplifying interviews
on-going relationships
with the participants
focus is not only on the individual him- or herself face to face, semi-structured interviews shaped around their migration experiences every life history is organized around a major tension (Plummer):
in all five cases, migration was either a result of a major tension or a major tension itself. theories themselves cannot fully grasp the reality of migration;
every case needs to be analysed in its own context

the theories are useful, they can help explain reality,
still we should be careful on applying them to cases and certainly not essentialize Halfacree and Boyle:
"A specific migration exists as a part of our past, our present and our future; as part of our biography."

there is always agency in the game,
yet the way agency is used in each case differs find a way in the structure(s) and create new possiblities of life "manoeverability" within or across structures making use of agency is determined by habitus. multiple identities
or multi-layered identity? individual level and group affiliation self ascription
ascription by others e.g.
ethnic
national
gender
professional as a result of migration the layers of identity can change, be expanded or substituted identity as a process collective identity migration challenges membership and belonging in general. life history method Özgün, Katrien, Elisabeth, Astrid, Liesbeth
life on the move Dubai
Libya
Syria
Tunisia
Belgium scattered family moments

arrived in Belgium in 2003

celebrates his independence

combines Arabic and economic studies Palestinian identity? a stateless
Palestinian Palestinian identity centers around:

nakba
struggle
ideology of return
yet perceptions of home and identifications
are not straightforward but constantly being reconfigured

Majd considers himself a man of this world, yet he is loyal to Belgium
rejection of victimization

diaspora, transnationalism Mariam a new life? fleeing from oppression and violence born and raised in Armenia

unhappy childhood; orphan

forced marriage, husband engaged in criminal activities, domestic violence

planning of flight to Belgium, Dutch courses

lives in an asylum centre now with her son
rejection of Armenian-ness,
yet still attached and proud of Armenia

wants to be and feel Belgian

active identity construction

migration as a coping strategy

empowerment
palimpsest a Moroccan immigrant
in Brussels son of a christian Spanish father and a muslim Moroccan mother (+)

he moved to Belgium when he was nine and stayed with his older brother who had come to Belgium earlier to work there

he has been living in Belgium ever since and likes it

he married a Moroccan woman from Morocco and they have three children

the marriage failed and later on he met a Belgian woman with whom he is still living together
he identifies with Moroccan labour migrants even though he is not one of them technically and he is highly integrated to Belgian society (collective narrative)

speaks of Belgium as his 'second mother': the country gave him a lot, yet took away many things from him...

on the other hand, he speaks 'pure' Moroccan dialect and still lives up to the consciousness of being a Moroccan

children are very important to him
Identity born in 1975 in Tekirdağ
air traffic controller since 1998
he migrated to Benelux two times Migration story after his graduation from civil aviation school, he worked as a civil servant for one year in Istanbul

migrated abroad in 1999 and worked in Luxembourg and Maastricht for two years

in 2001 he returned to Turkey because of homesickness and to do his military service

he went back to government work in 2002 and got married to a colleague of his in 2005

when he received a job offer from Belgium, he separated from his wife and came to Brussels in 2008 highly skilled
Turkish migrant Motivations and encounters the first time he left Turkey to work abroad his motivation was to pursue better economic and career opportunities in Europe

when he returned to Turkey, he was able to compare the living and working conditions in Benelux and Turkey

he was not satisfied with his job which dominated his life and he was not happy with his marriage

the second time he came to Benelux, his motivation was to find some peace of mind and get enough appreciation in his work

agency, identity
Conclusion migration: abandon one structure and move to another? ascription to a certain community, group, nation,... is more about feelings of attachment to a
group, community, tradition, ideology, nation, scenery,... Braziel historically: dispersal from the “homeland'; Jewish diaspora Saffran:
6 characteristics
of diaspora Refers to people who have been dispersed from a specific original ‘center’ to two or more ‘peripheral’ or foreign regions Applies when those dispersed communities retain a collective memory, vision, or myth about their original homeland Diasporic communities marked by a firm belief that they are not fully accepted by their host society and therefore feel partly alienated and insulated from it Regard their ancestral homeland as their true, ideal home and as the place to which they or their descendants would (or should) eventually return, when conditions are appropriate Diasporic communities firmly believe that they should, collectively, be committed to the maintenance or restoration of their original homeland and to its safety and prosperity Diasporic communities typically relate to that homeland in one way or another, and their ethnocommunal consciousness and solidarity are importantly defined by the existence of such a relationship migrants have different agendas
and these agendas influence the identification process "Is migration a benefit or a burden to the migrant?" should be
answered in its own particular context.

However, even within one biography it is hard to make the distinction between benefit and burden that clear-cut. contexts (structures)

agency

migrant agendas

personalities differ migration as a
benefit or a burden? Adler: "Social structure is undoubtedly an important factor in migration.
However, viewing it as a kind of human straitjacket places undesirable constraints on the anthropological analysis of migration" Radhakrishnan:
"Agency is an attempt to realize subjectivity as an effort of an authentic act of self-representation that one can call one’s own." an Armenian refugee in Brussels
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