Russian German identity: transnationalism negotiated through culture, the hybrid and the spatial.
PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.
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Transnational theories of migration have come to the fore in social science research as scholars have sought to account for the effect of globalization upon the practice of migration. The formulation of transnationalism has not been uncontested and its boundaries are still subject to redefinition. The studies that have utilised transnational frameworks have primarily centred upon circuits of movement flowing through North America. Although the volume of literature countering this focus has steadily increased there are few studies of transnationalism which apply to the migrations emerging from the spaces of the Former Soviet Union. Further, within post-Soviet studies the body of literature questioning the appropriateness of applying frameworks of western derivation to post-Soviet realities has grown steadily.
This study applies transnational concepts to a post-Soviet context. This thesis comprises a case study of the migratory practice of Russian German respondents interviewed in Russia and Germany. The empirical findings are employed to problematise understandings of transnationalism within a post-Soviet rubric. I argue that although Russian Germans’ participation in transnational circuits is constrained by local circumstance in both Russia and Germany, study respondents are a part of a Russian German transnational community nonetheless. Their transnationalism is understood in terms of social space, hybridity and culture.
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