Between fragmented ties and ‘soul friendships’: the cross-border social connections of young Romanians in London

Morosanu, Laura (2013) Between fragmented ties and ‘soul friendships’: the cross-border social connections of young Romanians in London. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39 (3). pp. 353-372. ISSN 1369-183X

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Abstract

This paper investigates the cross-border social ties of young Romanians in London in order to invite further reflection on the nature and experience of transnationalism. First, contrary to current depictions of migrants as gainfully inhabiting multiple spaces across nation-state borders, the paper reveals some of the practical complications of cross-border social ties. It shows that migrants’ routine communication and socialisation between ‘here’ and ‘there’ may exhibit considerable fragmentation and tension in both instrumental and affective terms, even in a favourable social and political climate for sustaining them. Second, the paper signals a potential overemphasis on ethnicity perpetuated by transnational connections. Although linked to relationships formed in the home environment, Romanians’ ideals of close ties do not correspond to either perceptions of the home country or of co-ethnics more generally, which remain predominantly negative. Instead, migrants’ ‘soul friendships’ are based on long-term engagement, frequent interaction, shared experiences and affectivity, and have minimal ethnic grounding, showing that the role of ethnicity should not be readily assumed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Depositing User: Laura Morosanu
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2013 12:14
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2013 12:14
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43685

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