The Discursive Construction of Co-Ethnic Migration

27 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2015

See all articles by Olga Zeveleva

Olga Zeveleva

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: March 5, 2015

Abstract

This paper investigates the discursive construction of co-ethnic migration in German society. Taking a biographical study on ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union as a starting point, the author traces co-ethnic immigrant pathways in German society and analyzes the legal frameworks, institutions, and organizations encountered by these migrants. The author employs a critical discourse analysis approach to texts relating to a camp where newly arriving immigrants live and undergo registration. The article proposes a new way of researching discursive construction, using biographical interviews as a starting point for identifying “localities of discourse” which are important to the group in question. Such an approach allows us to find relevant sources of discourse in a way that is grounded in empirical material, and subsequently to account for which discourses are appropriated by members of certain social groups, such as co-ethnic migrants. The article thus builds a bridge between biographical sociology and critical discourse analysis, using the former as a point of departure for framing the selection of materials for implementing the latter. The article makes a methodological contribution by introducing the concept “locality of discourse” as a bridge between biographical sociology and critical discourse analysis. The author also makes an empirical contribution by examining a border transit camp in Germany as a “locality of discourse” and showing how the camp informs our understanding of the place of co-ethnic migrants in German society.

Keywords: co-ethnic migration, repatriation, German migration policy, critical discourse analysis, borders

JEL Classification: Z

Suggested Citation

Zeveleva, Olga, The Discursive Construction of Co-Ethnic Migration (March 5, 2015). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 61/SOC/2015 , Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship Research Paper No. 2574172, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2574172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2574172

Olga Zeveleva (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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