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Roots and Routes : Life stories of exiled Hungarian women in Sweden

Henriksson, Katalin LU (2016)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in English

How do people shape a life in exile? What does nation or homeland mean in such a life situation, and how is the inevitable social and moral turbulence – embedded in the migrant’s biography – employed and interpreted by the migrant herself?



This study addresses these issues through an imaginative analysis of five life stories as presented by Hungarian women living in Sweden.



The author shows that exile stories revolve around rescuing and restoring things from the past, around reinventing the concept of what is left of a home. The stories speak of lives lived internally, in which one’s present becomes radically different from one’s past and in which a former... (More)
Popular Abstract in English

How do people shape a life in exile? What does nation or homeland mean in such a life situation, and how is the inevitable social and moral turbulence – embedded in the migrant’s biography – employed and interpreted by the migrant herself?



This study addresses these issues through an imaginative analysis of five life stories as presented by Hungarian women living in Sweden.



The author shows that exile stories revolve around rescuing and restoring things from the past, around reinventing the concept of what is left of a home. The stories speak of lives lived internally, in which one’s present becomes radically different from one’s past and in which a former homeland is transformed

into either an idealized or a demonized realm.



A society’s grand narratives do not necessarily define an individual’s experiencevof life in exile. Rather, one must listen to what personal narratives say.



Katalin Henriksson is a linguist and narrative analyst in Lund, Sweden. She has spent many years exploring the cultural and symbolic universe of Hungarians in Sweden. (Less)
Abstract
This dissertation analyses the narrated life stories of Swedish Hungarian women, sharing the numerous values and experiences of Hungarian exiles. With the help of interview transcripts of five women from the first generation of Hungarians living in exile in southern Sweden, the study presents seldom-discussed angles of ascertained membership in the Hungarian nation, moving beyond traditional definitions of ethnic belonging, official census figures, and organizational categorizations. The analysis is based on the author’s primary investigations and long-lasting personal relationship with the interviewees.



The study traces the legacy of individuals in the exile generation, as well as the mutual impact of the... (More)
This dissertation analyses the narrated life stories of Swedish Hungarian women, sharing the numerous values and experiences of Hungarian exiles. With the help of interview transcripts of five women from the first generation of Hungarians living in exile in southern Sweden, the study presents seldom-discussed angles of ascertained membership in the Hungarian nation, moving beyond traditional definitions of ethnic belonging, official census figures, and organizational categorizations. The analysis is based on the author’s primary investigations and long-lasting personal relationship with the interviewees.



The study traces the legacy of individuals in the exile generation, as well as the mutual impact of the studied

individuals and the Hungarian community. It shows that commonly accepted definitions are not always useful when categorizing immigrants: the analysed stories do not present victims of circumstances, contradicting practiced grand narratives that often speak of occasional, perceived, and lived discrimination regarding minorities or migrants. Rather, the stories depict efforts towards equilibrium in the narrators’ attitudes and behaviour, including maintaining important segments of Hungarian culture, while integrating or rejecting integration into wider society. The interviewees spoke of the importance of shared issues, such as parenting and relationships with family members and community, as well as work and the impact of minority status on their lives.



The study also presents the sentiments of the five Hungarians vis-à-vis their ancestry and heritage and their relation to their adopted and native countries from the perspective of the life adjustments they experienced while living in Sweden, including their outlook for the future. The stories include contradictions and even obscurities that sometimes confound the logic of ruling discourses, thus problematizing the institutions and ideologies that shape our lives. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Biträdande professor Thor Tureby, Malin, Linköpings universitet
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Hungarian, Hungarian Minorities, Hungarianness, Migration, Mobility, Narratives, Narrations, Life stories, Membership Category, Category Entitlement, Identifications, Ethnic Identification, Culture, Doing Gender
pages
344 pages
publisher
Lund University
defense location
Fakultetsklubben, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2016-02-04 13:00
ISBN
978-91-7623-299-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7f6d12b7-a55f-41ee-8e27-f9766bdab4fe (old id 8506442)
date added to LUP
2016-01-07 16:36:28
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:03
@misc{7f6d12b7-a55f-41ee-8e27-f9766bdab4fe,
  abstract     = {This dissertation analyses the narrated life stories of Swedish Hungarian women, sharing the numerous values and experiences of Hungarian exiles. With the help of interview transcripts of five women from the first generation of Hungarians living in exile in southern Sweden, the study presents seldom-discussed angles of ascertained membership in the Hungarian nation, moving beyond traditional definitions of ethnic belonging, official census figures, and organizational categorizations. The analysis is based on the author’s primary investigations and long-lasting personal relationship with the interviewees.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The study traces the legacy of individuals in the exile generation, as well as the mutual impact of the studied<br/><br>
individuals and the Hungarian community. It shows that commonly accepted definitions are not always useful when categorizing immigrants: the analysed stories do not present victims of circumstances, contradicting practiced grand narratives that often speak of occasional, perceived, and lived discrimination regarding minorities or migrants. Rather, the stories depict efforts towards equilibrium in the narrators’ attitudes and behaviour, including maintaining important segments of Hungarian culture, while integrating or rejecting integration into wider society. The interviewees spoke of the importance of shared issues, such as parenting and relationships with family members and community, as well as work and the impact of minority status on their lives.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
The study also presents the sentiments of the five Hungarians vis-à-vis their ancestry and heritage and their relation to their adopted and native countries from the perspective of the life adjustments they experienced while living in Sweden, including their outlook for the future. The stories include contradictions and even obscurities that sometimes confound the logic of ruling discourses, thus problematizing the institutions and ideologies that shape our lives.},
  author       = {Henriksson, Katalin},
  isbn         = {978-91-7623-299-6},
  keyword      = {Hungarian,Hungarian Minorities,Hungarianness,Migration,Mobility,Narratives,Narrations,Life stories,Membership Category,Category Entitlement,Identifications,Ethnic Identification,Culture,Doing Gender},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {344},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xf073670)},
  title        = {Roots and Routes : Life stories of exiled Hungarian women in Sweden},
  year         = {2016},
}