Page 181 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
Turkey.
9
In the following paragraphs we introduce some of our more significant findings in this study.
2. Education as a form of ‘cross-border return’ for the young generation of ‘inheritors’
to the Bulgarian out-migrants in Turkey
Bulgaria is one of the educational destinations for prospective students from Turkey who
mostly choose medical and engineering science degrees. Since the choice of education relies on a
decision made in most cases within the family, this category was also included in our study of the
biographical choices young people make. So as to trace the degree of primary socialization within
the family circle and the ways to subsequent secondary socialization, our study firstly aimed at
describing the social environment and the forms of co-habitation of the young successors and at
the same time at outlining their socio-demographic characteristics. Along these lines, we focused
our research on tracing the various living conditions and practices of co-habitation; we sought
answers to questions related to the level, structure and distribution of income and consumption;
we aimed at establishing parents’ social status and prestige, at registering their economic, cultural,
educational and professional capital as functioning on both sides of the border, ‘before’ and ‘now’.
2.1. Social environment
Twenty years after 1989, Bulgarian out-migrants occupy relatively successful social
positions in the social space in Turkey with regard to the volume and structure of their
economic
capital
. Therefore, our respondents are relatively secure about their future, the provisions they
can make for the years of education ahead of them, and their subsequent professional careers.
More than two-thirds of the households are able to accumulate savings from their income, at
that for considerable family investments too - be they the purchase of new or the upkeep and
reconstruction of old family homes.
A good indicator describing the economic status of Bulgarian settlers in Turkey is the type
of basic residential family property
10
inwhich they live inTurkey andwhich, inmost cases, is owned
by them; also, in which every family member has a separate room.
11
It is worth noting that when in
Bulgaria our respondents are trying to reproduce the same pattern of living arrangements which
they are accustomed to in Turkey. Most of the students who study in institutions of HE in Bulgaria
rent individually or with other roommates from Turkey.
12
If we compare these results with the
9 In the process of conducting the questionnaire survey in Plovdiv and Kirdjali we were assisted by BA students
in the majors of Sociology and Ethnology at Plovdiv University whose contribution to the success of our research
undertaking we greatly appreciate.
10 The issue of forms of inhabiting the city spaces of Edirne in relation to the real estate policies for Bulgarian
out-migrants to Turkey and their inheritors is discussed in detail by Meglena Zlatkova (Zlatkova 2012).
11 These are apartments in co-ops (27%); in blocks of flats (35%) or family houses (35%) with an average room
spread of 3.88 rooms (not including kitchen spaces and bathroom facilities).
12 Those who rent flats individually are fewest in number (12%). The larger percentage goes to students who
rent and have roommates (20%). The share of those who make use of their own property in Bulgaria is also significant
(altogether 23% - out of which 6% own a flat and 18% own a house). Altogether, those who prefer to live in dorms are
less in number than all the other categories taken together (41%). On average, the number of rooms is 2, but there are
significant fluctuations since the dominant trend is 1 room for those who live in dorms, while those who live in rented
flats may reach 3, 4 or 5 rooms per person.