Accepted Paper:

has pdf download The mobility of a transnational generation: an ethnographic study on descendants of Germans in contemporary Helsinki  

Author:

Dorothea Breier (University of Helsinki)

Paper short abstract:

How do the possibilities of people with migrant background influence their feeling of belonging and the life-course they chose? On what grounds do they decide to move to one country or the other, and how do the experiences they have shape them?

Paper long abstract:

Mobility and migration do not end with people moving from one country to the other. One of the results of such movements is an increasing number of people with migrant family background, children or children-children of migrants. Those people often grow up under the influence of two or more cultural frameworks and experience a high amount of mobility from the day of their birth. This mobility can be both physical, for instance as annual visits of the parent(s) home country, as well as mental, in the shape of a mobile mindset and an awareness of one's mixed ethnicity.

This is where this presentation on descendants of Germans in contemporary Helsinki links to. Based on material of her ongoing dissertation project, D. Breier analyses how the possibilities those people have influence their feeling of belonging and the decisions they make. How did the knowledge of being part of both cultures shape them, their thoughts and wishes? Were there any personal consequences arising from their families' constitutions? What were the (mobile) strategies and life-courses they chose for finding their spot in life? How do they reflect upon them and the experiences they had while being on the move?

By drawing on tendencies found in D. Breier's interview material, this presentation intends to show how transnational lives of descendants of migrants can look like, what practices and life-strategies are involved, and how people with such background reflect on themselves, their chances and choices.

Panel P149
Embedding onward migration within Europe into long-distance migratory trajectories [Anthromob]