Page 183 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
milieu: they have the stories their parents told them about Bulgaria, the summer vacations with
their grandparents in Bulgaria, the visits to their relatives in Bulgaria, the ‘cousins’ from Bulgaria
with whom they share the Internet space and so on and so forth. In other words, they have at their
disposal everything which would make their future life in Bulgaria less foreign and emotionally
challenging.
We find something different on the ‘other’ side of the border – the Turkish students who
study at the University of Thrace in Edirne on the whole choose where to live and with whom
through acquaintances in their social network. This is the distinctively differentiating feature
between the two groups – the network of connections and contacts among the out-migrants in
Turkey is used by their children as well. They are different in terms of forms of mutual assistance
whereby the fact that they will choose inmost cases to rent from other out-migrants from Bulgaria
is indicative. Consequently, ‘this’ side of the border the fact of migrating still remains a significant
social marker in the formation of life strategies as well as biographical such.
2.3. Education and occupation – the inherited cultural capital
In order to establish the degrees of
inherited cultural capital
we looked for social indicators
such as the
education
and
occupation
of parents before and after migrating. The aim of our team
was to establish whether there have been changes in the educational, professional and career
development of the parents; whether the higher cultural capital accumulated as a result of the
higher and better in quality education in Bulgaria
13
in the 1980s had aided the settlement in the
newplace; whether it has given better life chances; whether there has been a further development
with regard to parents’ educational and professional status; whether these considerations may
have factored in the child’s choice to pursue a higher degree, etc.
On the whole the parents of our respondents are relatively highly educated.
14
Higher
educational capital isalso linkedtohigherprofessional capital.Theoccupationsarevariedandrange
from bus driver, excavator driver in a private construction firm, economist, electrician, computer
specialist, military, recipe specialist in sweets factories, cheese producer, a kindergarten teacher,
hospital nurse through owners of shops, jewelry shops, or hotels to positions of responsibility and
top management in the social hierarchy (for instance Deputy mayor of Izmir).
Most of our respondents do not knowwhat the occupation of their parents was in Bulgaria.
That is understandable since this ‘other’ life of theirs is beyond their personal systems of relevance.
What is worth noting though is that whenever there is knowledge of the occupation of parents
‘before’, there is either evidence of economic prosperity and heightening of social status – the ‘ex’
construction worker has become a jeweler and an owner of a jewelry shop, the former bus driver is
13 Based on the views expressed by the out-migrants themselves.
14 Over 80% of the fathers and mothers of our respondents have completed secondary or higher education
in Bulgaria. Half of the women and 62% of the men have completed secondary education. With regard to vocational
training or college education, women outnumber men – 12% to 3% respectively. This is the result mostly from
education in the spheres of primary school teachers and nursing which were the primary occupations for the mothers
of Turkish students when they lived in Bulgaria. 21% of women and 24% of men have higher education (university)
degrees. 18% of women and 9% of men have finished their education at the pre-high school level. There is only one
case (male) of completed primary education only.