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  • 29
    SEP

    Public Defence of Doctoral Thesis with Maarja Saar: The answers you seek will never be found at home. Reflexivity, biographical narratives and lifestyle migration among highly-skilled Estonians.

    Welcome to Maarja Saar´s public defense of doctoral thesis in Sociology.

    Maarja Saar


    Dissertation:
    The answers you seek will never be found at home. Reflexivity, biographical narratives and lifestyle migration among highly-skilled Estonians.
     
    Subject: Sociology
    Graduate school: the Department of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences and the Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS) at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University
    Examiner: Professor Michael Janoschka, Leeds University
    Language: English
     

    Abstract

    This thesis focuses on issues around reflexivity and highly skilled migration. Reflexivity has been an underused concept in migration studies and incorporating it has been long overdue. By reflexivity this thesis understands the capacity of an actor to evaluate his or her position in relation to social structures, to take action in managing those structures and, finally, to critically revise both the position and action taken.

    There are multiple reasons as to why incorporating reflexivity is a useful endeavor to migration studies. On one hand, using reflexive types in order to understand different migration motivations offers an alternative to otherwise mainly class based explanations behind migration objectives. Migration research has long relied on the idea that migration motivations can be coupled with societal and class background. Similarly, return migration has been described almost unanimously as a result of a homing desire. Both positions, as claimed in this thesis, are oversimplifications. On the other hand, I argue that, reflexivity helps to analyze the importance of class or even society on migration in 21th century. This is why I suggest to analyze all three in concurrence – migration, reflexivity and class.

    In the following pages I analyze how reflexivity can be operationalized for studying migration. So far, reflexivity has been either used as background concept – mobility studies or for explaining particular kind of migration – lifestyle migration. I argue, that with careful operationalization reflexivity could be useful tool for explaining wide-variety of migrations – family, labour, lifestyle etc. Three articles in this thesis focus on providing such operationalizations, analyzing the relationship between migration motivations and reflexivity. Finally, the first article in this thesis analyzes the background of my particular group of migrants – Estonian highly skilled migrants and positions them in relation to other groups in Estonian society. Moreover, the article also underlines that self-development and lifestyle, if you will, is an important motivation for Eastern European migrants as well.

    Keywords: highly skilled migration, Eastern Europe, reflexivity, lifestyle migration.

    Tid och plats

    När: fredag 29 september kl. 13:00-15:00

    Vad: disputation

    Var: Room MA 624, Södertörn University, Campus Flemingsberg

    Arrangeras av: The Department of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences and the Baltic and East European Graduate School (BEEGS) at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES), Södertörn University

    Evenemangsspråk: engelska