In this book, I make use of concepts such as collective identity, identity construction, migration as discursive resource and ethnicity in tackling the question of how identity is constructed by the interviewees in their interactions with the researchers. More specifically, a certain part of this constructionist setting is emphasized: the role played by migration as concept brought by interviewees into the discussion flow in order to define social categories or, in social identity theory’s vocabulary, in-groups and out-groups. Given this analytical orientation, using as introduction the words and story of a migrant among those whose voices I present and discuss seemed only natural.
The book is not focused on migration as phenomenon, and it does not place it in causal relations to states of facts. Instead, it is a proposition to explore discourses and narratives of migration and the shifts in various social definitions performed within them. It basically brings forward migration and identity as two related concepts and explores how the latter is constantly redefined in reference to the former. The theoretical perspectives that link identity and migration presented here are assimilation and transnationalism, and, albeit from different directions, they both relate to issues such as integration and dealing with borders, be they political, social or psychological.
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