W050
'Odysseus on the Shore of Ithaca': contemporary return migrations

Convenors:
Ewa Nowicka (Collegium Civitas)
Wojciech Polec (Warsaw University)
Stream:
Worskhops
Location:
Wills G27
Start time:
21 September, 2006 at 11:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

Return migration is a complex phenomenon, which affects various areas of social and individual life, not only of the migrants themselves but also of the host societies. The very notion of return migration appears to be ambiguous: literal and very often only symbolic.

Long abstract:

Return migration is a complex phenomenon, which affects various areas of social and individual life not only of the migrants themselves but also of the host societies. The very notion of return migration appears to be ambiguous: literal and very often only symbolic. We are interested in: 1. The sources of the return migration decision 2. The re-adaptation process in the home country 3. The identity strategies of migrants 4. The intercultural contact between the migrants and the host groups 5. The cultural, social and economic consequences of return migration 6. The role of gender in the return migration process. <br/>Return migration is a specific form of spatial mobility: it originates in the economic or social situation of migrants as individuals and as families or even larger groups. Also, it results in certain consequences for individuals and their families. There are numerous situations of return: coming back to the place of birth, childhood or early years, to a well-known homeland, or return after one, two or many generations, so only therefore to a mythical homeland. Moreover, it can be return to the exact place lived in before or to a more ideological rather than actual homeland. These situations lead to sometimes extremely severe problems of adaptation to new places, new social life, and new customs and habits. We invite all those who are interested in changing, situational, transformative identity, in all psychological, social and cultural aspects of homecomers to use the famous Alfred Sch├╝tz concept of a person who is really a stranger at home as well as abroad.