Page 102 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
refugees in Tzarevo and the Strandja region for the following reasons: 1) the presence of
formal
institutions
on both sides of the border which institutionally legitimize the two groups and their
successors, respectively; namely, the Thracian societies in Tzarevo and the region which are
included in the Union of Thracian Societies in Bulgaria (UTSB), as well as the various out-migrant
organizations set up in the European part of Turkey and associated through the Federation of
Balkan Turks in Edirne; 2) the presence of
formal institutional discourse
, which speaks “on behalf of”
and “in the interests of” the respective migrant groups; and 3) the presence of
formally-recognized
spokespersons
of that discoursewhose ideological premise allows for analyzingwhat I call“strategies
for taking advantage of inheritance”. The above-listed features allow for a comparative perspective
on this level.
In order to render the above in detail from the point of view of socio-analysis, we need to
identify the mechanisms of inheriting (or not), the problem zones and transfer of inheritance, and
the participating sides in this process, i.e. the active agents with their priviledged viewpoints which
construct, in accordance with them, their own interpretations of the world. We need to discuss in
detail how this process of giving/receiving inheritance is situated in the context of formal power
structures and to what extent the formal discourses of inheritance – understood in most general
terms as identity, social positions and disposition, i.e. as the essentially important for each of the
groups “tendency to perpetuate in one’s very being” - are ideologically efficient.
This is why when discussing
contradictions of inheritance
on both sides of the border we
need to take into account that in our contemporary“society of mobility”we observe a contradictory
dual process with regard to inheriting memory with the two migrant groups. On the one hand,
there is a drive for
formal encapsulation
of memory happening both in the formal discourses of the
Union of Thracian Societies and the associations of Bulgarian out-migrants in Turkey and, at the
same time, in the everyday discursive practices of the inheritors of the two groups accompanied
by encapsulation of boundaries and identities. On the other hand and in parallel to this, there is
the
reverse process
, i.e. their
de-capsulation
3
. The question is - is it possible for this to happen
without “de-capsulating”memory itself? In other words, is it possible to give/receive inheritance –
in this case in the two groups I focus on in terms of “birth place”, “father’s home”, “mother tongue”
with their entailing ambiguity in the world today which a number of scholars describe as“the end of
the social” – if the reverse process of its de-capsulation is not present? This is the question I discuss
hereafter through the model which I call “strategies for taking advantage of inheritance”. Since I
am concerned with “inheritance” and “inheriting”, what also gains importance are the mechanisms
of “inheriting” and “succession” between different generations of migrants because the concept of
“inheritance” in practice “immortalizes” social positions and biographical trajectories.
The next important analytical emphasis falls on the ways in which the actual “sociogenesis”
manifests itself in the process of inheriting. From a researcher’s point of view, it is crucial to
consider its “double reality” (in the sense attributed by Bourdieu) – the fact that it flows in two ways
simultaneously:
3 The forms of transgressions which materialize this process of de-encapsulation are considered further on in
my analysis.