Finding One’s Place : An Ethnological Study of Belonging among Swedish Migrants on the Costa del Sol in Spain
Sammanfattning: This study explores how Swedish migrants on the Costa del Sol in Spain create belonging and how this is expressed in migration stories and practiced in the daily life. The migrants are part of a migration phenomenon that is conceptualized as lifestyle migration, often to destinations in association with tourism and leisure. Based on ethnographical fieldwork carried out among Swedish migrants within the Swedish infrastructure of institutions, organizations and private enterprises on the Costa del Sol, the thesis examines how belonging is created adopting a phenomenological and constructivist perspective on transnational and diasporic practices. This is accomplished through studying migration stories, where the migration experience is being told, structured and made meaningful for the migrants. In addition, it focuses on internal and external identification and positioning on location on the Costa del Sol. Another concern is the study of how the migrants relate to notions and practices of new home, and old home. The thesis presents how belonging is shaped on a collective basis within the Swedish infrastructure, despite the fact that the interviewees make up a diverse group in different ages, with different reasons for dwelling along the coast, with different migrant experiences, with different approaches to living a transnational migrant life in-between the old and the new country, and with different degrees and range of incorporation to the local society. The study shows how a transnational position is created with a plurilocal frame of reference. It is marked by simultaneously expressing attachments and affiliations to several localities and contexts across territorial borders, shaped by past and recurrent travels and communication, and connected to the Swedish diasporic collective that can function as a compensatory source of national affiliation for the Swedish migrants on the Costa del Sol.
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