Page 179 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
Turkey (around 1989), whom we call the
‘20’s generation’
, Bulgaria is more of a symbolic topos,
somebody else’s memory – of their parents’, of their relatives’. Both groups do not speak Bulgarian,
but for different reasons – while with the ‘30’s generation’ the Bulgarian language was forgotten
due to the strife for integration and socialization, the ‘20’s generation’ have never spoken it.
This is one of the reasons why the issue of “succession” between the different generations
of migrants, of the degrees to which social positions and biographic trajectories are“perpetuated”
through the concept of “inheritance”, acquired important dimensions. The ‘receiving’ and ‘passing
on’ of inheritance - in our particular case of ‘birth place’, of ‘father’s home’, and of ‘mother tongue’,
with all their ambiguities, is not unproblematic. In the course of our field work we encountered
a number of contradictions in the process of mutual recognition and significance attribution to
different dimensions of inheritance. We make use of the metaphor suggested by Pierre Bourdieu
when describing various forms that may acquire the dimensions of “contradictions of inheritance”
(Bourdieu 1999). The conceptual framework offered by Bourdieu which includes the three nodes
of “field-capital-habitus” is the theoretical and methodological frame which corresponds most
aptly to the analytical task at hand. It allows us to discuss the issue of migrations and the inheriting
of social positions of the ‘first generation’ from a more active research perspective.
In discussing migration flows, the forms of citizenship and the effects of the increasing
mobility among people, including those to and from Bulgaria, Ivaylo Dichev offers the view that
“the fluctuation between here and there becomes the structure of contemporary life” (Dichev
2009: 64). When the transition, migration and settlement in the new environment across the
border have already happened the return of the inheritors, and of the migrants themselves, is
not a return to a symbolic homeland, but to a place of birth – i.e. ‘the return’ happens through the
national and territorial. This effect of crossing the boundary we define in terms of
mobility after
migration
. In order to critically discuss this form of controversial inheritance we have constructed
the analytical model of ‘cross-border return’, taking into account the specific context of forms of
return of young people – the second generation of migrants
3
in the“society of mobility”, to use the
vocabulary of Christopher Lasch. This stipulated figure is a necessary condition which gives us the
opportunity to analyze all
forms of border crossing
defined by the term ‘mobility after migration’.
The main focus in presenting our field observations and findings from the interviews we
conducted, as well as our work with focus groups, survey questionnaires and free format interviews
is on
educational mobility
fromTurkey to Bulgaria and labour mobility fromBulgaria toTurkey which
is used more in the manner of a reference point than as a separate study. Study abroad is one of the
legitimate forms in the process of social initiation for contemporary young people, a status which
ensures them an institutionally borderline position for several years.We have limited our case study
to students with dual citizenship only – Bulgarian and Turkish who currently study in institutions of
higher education in Bulgaria since the dimensions of the border here are not only
institutional
but
symbolic
as well. For the second generation, the journey to study abroad is a symbolic return to the
place of birth from the point of view of the family because most of the families are still separated
3 These however are not forms of returning migration. The phenomenon of returning migration is one of the
research possibilities in migration studies, a possibility which in the present text we do not pursue.