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Ethnicity: Fault Lines among “Our People”

Lidija Mavra ; Iceberg Research, London, Ujedinjeno Kraljevstvo

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 1.713 Kb

str. 7-37

preuzimanja: 911



This paper addresses the extent to which migrants’ identity in a new place is contingent on ideas of “ethnicity”, using the case study of Serbs in London. It aims firstly to examine what “ethnicity” means, and the different dimensions of identity and circumstance that inform this. It then aims to deconstruct the notion of ethnicity by exploring the different ways in which ethnic markers are used in different spaces, and interactions with ”other” ethnic groups in the city. The research methodology consisted of qualitative, semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 66 Serbian migrants, and participant observation with a further 20 households, in London. The sampling strategy was reflexive in order to ensure the inclusion of a wide range of migrant experiences according to different socio-political, economic and spatial backgrounds. The findings reveal a diversity of conceptualisations of what ”being Serbian” means, signifying that this is not a concrete or quantifiable measure. However, certain broad patterns did emerge, in the sense that those who expressed the ability to ”choose” their ethnicity were more likely to be those with sufficient cultural, economic, social and human capital that enabled them to negotiate this situationally. Another key feature that emerged was that ”ethnicity” may be the easy label given to what are in fact class and migrant status-based identities, depending on where people are positioned within the socio-political matrix. This, and particularly workplace based identities and migrant status – rather than ethnic qualities – also affected the perceived boundedness from ethnic “others” within the city.

Ključne riječi

Serbs, migrants, ethnicity, identity, class, city, language

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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