Uncertainties of transnational belonging: homeland nationalism and cultural citizenship of Lithuanian immigrants in the USA

Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
Uncertainties of transnational belonging: homeland nationalism and cultural citizenship of Lithuanian immigrants in the USA
In the Journal:
Folklore (Tartu). 2020, vol. 78, p. 61-80
Kultūrinė pilietybė; Emigrantai (Diaspora); Tėvynės nacionalizmas; Identitetas; Transnacionalizmas.
Cultural citizenship; Diaspora; Homeland nationalism; Identity; Transnationalism.
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe processes of trasnationalism, especially large-scale migration from Eastern Europe (e.g. Poland, the Baltics, and the Balkans) are visible in the creation of new realities through the representation of cultural differences and distinctive social experiences enacted in diasporas. The aim of this article is to show how social ties and resources are used by migrants to cope with challenges of transnational belonging from grass-roots level understanding of the complexities of intra- and inter-ethnic relations enacted by the last two waves of the Lithuanian immigration in the USA, based on the fieldwork conducted in Chicago in 2002–2003, 2007, and 2013. Social belonging of the forced (end of WWII refugees) wave of migration was challenged by the political subjectivity applied to any immigrant group, including exiles from communism, resisting the assimilation into the melting pot politics dominant in America. The economic wave of post-socialist immigrants of the 1990s was challenged by the uncertainty and precarity of their lives and jobs, especially in terms of their legal status, command of the official language, and professional skills. Homeland nationalism and cultural citizenship are addressed in this article as strategies of coping with the aforementioned uncertainties. Homeland nationalism of the forced migration wave along with the practices of ethnification was marked by the moral imperative of ‘to cherish the home country’ and helped to withstand the ‘melting pot’ America. Cultural citizenship of the labor migrants appears as moral economy brought from the homeland and used for inter-ethnic networking of immigrants from the Eastern European region as compartmentalized lifestyle to cope with marginalization, especially of those without papers. [From the publication]

1406-0949; 1406-0957
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2022-01-27 15:36:56
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