Page 188 - MIGRATION

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MIGRATION, MEMORY, HERITAGE: SOCIO-CULTURAL
APPROACHES TO THE BULGARIAN-TURKISH BORDER
and social choice is not necessarily connected with staying in Turkey. To them, similarly to most
of their peers in our ‘knowledge society’, spatial boundaries and limitations are gradually losing
their materiality and real significance and are acquiring increasingly fluid dimensions. Their
solidity – ‘the iron curtain’ as a metaphor for the durability and stability of the border - gradually
‘softens’. This fluidity entails simultaneous processes of
going/return
and
simultaneous inhabiting
of the multidimensionality of spatial boundaries
on behalf of the ‘second generation’. Here we find
yet another type of
‘cross-border returns’
their very questioning
by the ‘inheritors’ of out-
migrants from Bulgaria to whom the contradictions of inherited spatial and temporal boundaries
is the social condition for the opportunity to be crossing them.
2.6. Social values and dispositions
2.6.1. Dual citizenship – constructing identities
Another important aspect our study touched upon is the discussion of social values and
dispositions of the Turkish students who are children of Bulgarian out-migrants and who study in
Bulgarian universities. The questions in this section gesture at global research concerns which at
this level and through the chosen methodology naturally cannot be quite fully rendered. Namely,
whether social values and attitudes are homogenous and without contradictions or whether they
are heterogenous and amorphous; and then, if they are heterogenous and contradictory, how
they function in such ways as to be non-contradictory and homogenous on the level of identity;
whether they allow for unproblematic practical acts in and upon the world, and so on and so
forth. In our particular case, we are able to register only the visible tendencies and attitudes,
but we cannot probe deeper (there are other methods and mechanisms for that). Along such
lines, the questions of whether
ethnicity
and
religion
are key markers in defining identity gain
importance. Ethnicity may be instrumentalised though several levels of identification: 1) through
self-identification; 2) through institutional identification; 3) through the identification of others
(both as ‘foreign’ and as ‘significant others’).
In our study we focus mostly on the first level of identification. Nearly all our respondents
identify themselves as Turks, while the ‘Bulgarian aspect’ appears as a key marker in one of the
cases only, when the respondent identifies himself as “a Bulgarian who is proud of his Turkish
origin”. Here we encounter a glimmer of an underlying contradiction, since what allows our
respondents to study at Bulgarian universities at discounted fees is in fact their declared
second
Bulgarian citizenship.
This paradox reveals yet another dimension of
‘contradictions of inheritance’
– the Turkish students, children of Bulgarian out-migrants are playing in a “double game” in the
sense attributed by Bourdieu – along the boundary of the rule, against the very rule of the game.
On the one hand, they
take advantage
of their inherited
‘Bulgarian-ness’
and make use of all
the advantages (economic, political, institutional, and social) afforded by it. On the other hand,
Bulgarian-ness remains only an
official form
of personal identity. Bulgarian citizenship remains
at the level of institutions and social structures. While the other citizenship is thought of as a
significant marker of identity and as such vests with significance both the sense of one’s own place
and the sense of place for the other. One can be defined as
institutional citizenship
, the other as a