Author:Helena Jerman (University of Helsinki)
Paper short abstract:
This paper discusses perceptions of self and lived experience among Russians crossing national boundaries as they are articulated through adult informants’ recalling of displacements and emplacements in their childhood. It also compares these perceptions with existential and practical consequences of care of children within families in a present transnational context in the Finnish Russian borderland.
Paper long abstract:
My current research on perceptions on self and lived experience among Russians crossing national boundaries delves deep into an analysis of the ways in which cultural knowledge is memory related. Memory, ‘an activity in the present’ and, primarily, not concerned with the ‘truth’ rather emphasizes the role of social consequences of lived experience. The creation of otherness on the one hand, and the creation of belonging, on the other, are two sides of the same coin and thus central themes in shaping perceptions and imaginations in border crossing, be it cognitive or physical. In this paper I will discuss the way elderly and middle aged informants recall displacements and emplacements in their childhood, and in what sense they consider it a meaningful experience. I will explore in what way their perceptions on powerful events in early childhood affect their sense of belonging during their life span. I will also examine existential and practical consequences of care of children within families in a present transnational context in the Finnish Russian borderland. The focus is on informants’ interpretations of related experiences. Methodologically my presentation emphasizes juxtaposition and mobility, moving between different time perspectives and with different social actors exploring central notions of forms of culture within specific contexts. Furthermore, individual enactment of belonging originates in the consciousness of the self and in its relationship to society.
Children and migration in Europe: between new citizenships and transnational families