Page 178 - MIGRATION

Basic HTML Version

176
MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
We think of
inheritance
in terms of the collective and individual strategies for inheriting,
institutionalization and the formation of formal and informal institutions, associations and
practices of institutionalizing, as well as the utilizing of that inheritance – for the purposes of
identity construction, memory formation, in its political uses, or for the creation of stories and
practices of remembering.
Identities
are manifested in different ways and through different aspects in different
spaces. In order to study these spatial dimensions we focus on questions identifying the territories
of shared and mutually recognizable capital, we also consider the ways in which these become
convertible – for instance, cultural into economic, social into political, and so on. It is precisely
these strategies for exchange which allow us to study the dimensions of the border, its perpetual
crossing through
mental (temporal)
transgressions – through the mechanisms of memory and
the rituals for legitimizing or rejecting of memories; and
spatial
such – through the movements
of the inheritors. Therefore, the issue of identity is not rendered here as a typological inventory
or a description of out-migrant communities. It is discussed in terms of self-identification and
identification by others, through the manifestation, attribution and re-attribution of identity in
situations involving border-crossing, as well as through forms of inheriting them. Along these
lines, our view echoes the views espoused by Fredrik Barth (1969), namely, that there is no identity
in principle and that identity is a manifestation in a situation of interaction.
2
The legitimation of these identities is usually connected with rituals for recognizing and
transferring capital, of inheriting and rejecting, of attributing or denying significance or symbolic
efficacy. This raises the issue of inheriting as a fundamental question in the “order of succession”,
that is “managing the relationship between parents and children and, more specifically, the
perpetuation of the line and its inheritance, in the broadest sense of the term” (Bourdieu: 1999
507). It is the effects of this interaction that we discuss though the “contradictions of inheritance”
which manifest themselves in the repeated crossings of the border by different generations. Let
us explain this in more detail.
At the moment of settlement in Turkey in 1989, the first generation of emigrants carried
the most pronounced weight. Their children, who began their education in Bulgaria, repeated
the respective school form (which they had completed already) upon the arrival in Turkey and
this gave them the opportunity to adapt more easily not only to the educational system in Turkey
but also to society at large. These are the children we now call
‘the generation in their 30’s
’ or
the
‘30’s generation’
in short. The educational degrees and professional qualifications gained by
the out-migrants in Bulgaria were at the time recognized in Turkey, which increased their chances
for a professional career in their respective fields. This is why the education of children became
a priority for these families. That generation considered it more important that socialization and
integration in the Turkish society was mediated through the educational institutions. For the
‘30’s
generation’
therefore, the connection with Bulgaria is a connection with a country in which they
had their own life experience. Unlike them, for the children of the ‘second generation’, born in
2 The issue of identity is crucial in migration studies, but at the same time it presents the biggest challenge to
researchers due to the range of approaches to the issue. For an overview of the range of approaches see inmore detail
Krasteva 1998, identity and interpretation – Ganeva-Raycheva 2004.