Estonians in Scotland. From isolation to transnational ways of living?

Kreinin, Lea (2018) Estonians in Scotland. From isolation to transnational ways of living? PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

After the Second World War, the Estonian community grew considerably in the UK. Great Britain became the first and largest state in Western Europe to welcome war refugees stranded in Germany, out of whom a small number of so-called European Voluntary Workers of Estonian origin also ended up in Scotland. The second wave of migration from Estonia started shortly after Estonia became independent, and grew larger after Estonia’s EU-accession in 2004. While the first group were practically cut off from their Estonian roots during the Soviet occupation, the second group have been able to maintain close ties with their homeland.
In the academic literature on migration, diaspora and transnationalism have often been considered as direct opposites – the first concept is usually applied on the pre-Internet time exile communities, while the second one is used most often while talking about the situation in time of globalisation. In Scotland, however, the experience of an Estonian diaspora in its classical meaning, due to the scattered location and small number of Estonians living here, is highly contested.
This study draws on wider research on these two communities, using mainly qualitative interviews with 54 recipients. These two communities from two different eras vary in many ways, as one would expect. However, their experiences on a micro-level are often surprisingly similar – at the individual level, the experience of moving abroad and settling in, as well as ties and networks between compatriots do not really differ. I will discuss the possibilities of using a theoretical toolkit of transnationalism for looking at both migration waves from Estonia, therefore.
This research looks at social networks amongst Estonians in Scotland, their adaption, identity and different markers of identity, their home-making strategies and further plans (staying and leaving).

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Migration, Estonia, transnationalism, European voluntary workers, Estonian exile communities, migrant groups in Scotland, Estonian migrant social networks, Estonian identity abroad.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Professor David
Date of Award: 2018
Depositing User: Ms Lea Kreinin
Unique ID: glathesis:2018-8998
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 12:24
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2018 15:12
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/8998

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