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Travelling origins: Migrant belonging in times of post-migration mobilities

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This article builds on the recent discussion about migrants’ post-migration mobilities. Although existing studies show the types and patterns of movement that migrants undertake, less attention has been paid to the question of how these movements influence their sense of belonging, their self-understanding and their perception of their origins. On the basis of 47 autobiographical interviews with young adults of Polish heritage in Germany and Canada, this article argues that belonging in times of post-migration mobilities can be grasped through the concepts of contextual self-understanding, accumulating and travelling origins. It thus extends conceptual frameworks by endeavouring to understand the effects of mobility on migrants’ lives.
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Keywords: Canada; Germany; Polish migrants; belonging; post-migration mobilities; self-understanding; travelling origins

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000122891527 IRTG Diversity, University of Trier

Publication date: October 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • The course of cultures at both local and global levels is crucially affected by migratory movements. In turn, culture itself is turned migrant. This journal will advance the study of the plethora of cultural texts on migration produced by an increasing number of cultural practitioners across the globe who tackle questions of culture in the context of migration. They do this in a variety of ways and through a variety of media. To name but a few relevant aspects of this juncture of migration and culture, questions of dislocation, travel, borders, diasporic identities, transnational contacts and cultures, cultural memory, the transmission of identity across generations, questions of hybridity and cultural difference, the material and oral histories of migration and the role of new technologies in bridging cultures and fostering cultural cross-pollination will all be relevant. Methodologies of research will include both the study of 'texts' and fieldwork.
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