Spaces of Europe, places of homeland: Greek-Danish diaspora life in narratives of home and return

Christou, Anastasia (2008) Spaces of Europe, places of homeland: Greek-Danish diaspora life in narratives of home and return. International Journal of Multicultural Societies, 10 (2). pp. 194-207. ISSN 1817-4574

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Abstract

This article focuses on first- and second-generation Greek and Greek-Danish migrants and return migrants, exploring their experiences of geographical, social and cultural mobility in forging a sense of self and belonging. The analysis of narrative material explores these issues in relation to the Greek diaspora community in Denmark, their attempts to relocate to their ancestral homeland and their transnational relations. Furthermore, the meanings attached to the notion of “home” in a transnational context and the multiple processes of identification in response to cultural differentiation in how participants define belongingness in European, Danish, Scandinavian and Hellenic spaces are examined. It is demonstrated how “ethnonational homecoming” (re)defines how migrants negotiate their sense of self in relation to person-place relations but also through movement in social space. Narrative life-story data of migrants and return migrants form the empirical basis of this discussion. It is important to examine interconnected systems of social, historical, cultural and political dynamics in both “home” and “host” countries in terms of migrants’ experiential narratives of space and the gendered constitution of home-spaces. This approach serves to inspect the process of appropriation of space through an examination of agency over the salience of ethnocultural signifiers. However, cultural ambiguities about identification and belonging may also conceal intergenerational tensions about how “Danishness” and “Greekness” is expressed through diasporic consciousness. In conclusion, the article considers how biographical and narrative research may serve to stimulate dialogue about the relationship of identities to place, in order to add to migration research on everyday life in the diaspora.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G0001 Geography (General)
Depositing User: Anastasia Christou
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:12
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2012 09:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/11056
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