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Accepted Paper:

The meanings of the difficult past: homeland conflict and second-generation youth in Switzerland  

Authors:

Dilyara Müller-Suleymanova (Zurich University of Applied Sciences University of Zurich)
Mareike Scherer (University of Zurich)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the way young people with origins in ex-Yugoslavia and Turkey deal with the history of their origin countries' violent past and war/conflict-related migratory experiences of their parents and what effects these have on various facets of their (post-)migrant lives

Paper long abstract:

What does it mean for the second-generation youth to grow up with the political legacies of their origin country, particularly with its violent past in the context of diaspora? In which ways young people engage with war/conflict-related migration experiences of their parents and what consequences these have on their (post-)migrant lives? Careful reading of life-stories of young people of Bosnian and Kurdish/-Alevi background, born and raised in Switzerland, complemented by ethnographic observations in diasporic spaces, reveals how political past (and present) of the origin country is integrated, reinterpreted and negotiated in the context of own biography and dealt with in everyday life. The analysis demonstrates in which spaces and situations young people are confronted with and negotiate their belonging to the origin country and its problematic past and how differently connection to the origin country can be established. These personal ways of dealing with the past (and present) have effects on various contexts of young people's lives such as their engagement in diasporic structures or their everyday interpersonal relations. In this context, the paper will also try to critically engage with the concepts such as "second generation", "diaspora" and "homeland"

Panel P144
New horizons: second generation perspectives on experiences of migration