Memory, Place and Agency: Transnational Mirroring of Otherness among Young Albanian ‘Returnees’

ZANA VATHI, Russell King

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
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    Return migration has been traditionally conceptualised within a framework of ‘homecomings’, emphasising primordial ethnicity at the expense of micro-level and cognitive aspects of migrants’ belongingness. Drawing on the narratives of Albanian-origin children and young people who moved (back) to Albania with their families from crisis-ridden Greece, this paper explores their experiences of otherness in the presumed homeland, and puts emphasis on their agency in the context of return migration. Memory emerges as an important aspect of agency in the process of what we term ‘the transnational mirroring of otherness’. Brought up in Greece, the Albanian-origin children are othered upon return because of their perceived ‘Greekness’ among the locals and limited ability to speak Albanian. Beyond establishing and maintaining transnational ties and identities, participants show initiative in positioning themselves against shifting transnational identification frameworks, as they contemplate a spatially mobile future.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)197-209
    Number of pages13
    JournalChildren's Geographies
    Issue number2
    Early online date2 Jun 2020
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jun 2020


    • transnational return migration,
    • otherness,
    • Albania
    • memory,
    • children and young people,
    • place,


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