Jolanta Kuznecovienė (Vytautas Magnus University)
The presentation examines the practices, resources and contexts used by Lithuanian immigrants for their Lithuanian identity construction. It focuses on the analyses of social, economic and emotional linkages which Lithuanian immigrants accumulate or retain in the new societies.
Research data from 2007-2009 revealed that the majority of Lithuanian immigrants in England, Ireland, Norway and Spain draw on certain pathways of incorporation to their new societies by choosing particular linkages and use diverse motivations of considering themselves as part of it. Based on the analyses of pathways of immigrants’ incorporation three prevailing ways of construction of Lithuanian-ness were revealed. The first way could be defined as a process of identity work based on the construction of de-territorialized cultural space. The way of immigrants’ cultural openness is based on the undermining of ethnic identity in public arenas and reducing Lithuanian-ness to occasional practicing of Lithuanian language and customs in private spaces. In case of the third way the emotional and symbolic linkages with the country of their origin (sending country) and imaginable returning home are used by immigrants as a main resource of their Lithuanian-ness.