Accepted paper:

The concept of "my father's home" as an anchor for Latvian solid identity constructions in the era of liquid modernity


Rūta Muktupāvela (Latvian Academy of Culture)

Paper short abstract:

One of the most stable concepts, obtained from biographical narratives during field work in 2013, is the concept of "my father's home". Through the narration of migration experiences it becomes a significant psychological and cognitive anchor in the process of construction of local identity.

Paper long abstract:

In the situation of liquid modernity (Bauman) it is just the local identity, which can provide the feeling of stability. Biographical narratives, obtained during field work in 2013 in two Latvian provinces - the vicinity of Svētupe and Valka, reveal the concept of "My father's home" as one of the most stable. As a symbolic equivalent to the Beginning and to harmonious existence, and as archetypal "source of happiness and strength", this concept also can be found in migration (urban, post-WW2 political, modern economical) narratives. Memories and sentiments of "father's home", present in individual experience of local inhabitants, have a significant effect upon their attitude towards the outer world, whereas the concept itself becomes a significant psychological and cognitive anchor in the process of construction of local identity, assigning certain meaning to a real or imaginary place. The research showed that inhabitants of province are conscious about their own, their parents' and their children's home, about natural and cultural values in their vicinity. The more individuals are connected to a certain place, the more explicit are the signs of their local identity, and the less they pay attention to the negative side of their habitus (Bonaiuto). There is a positive correlation between high level of awareness of local identity on one side and the readiness to care and look after the local environment aspects - cultural landscape, traditions, language, social ties etc. - on the other, thus enriching national culture in general.

panel P10
Imaginaries of home