There and Back Again: Post-return experiences of Highly-skilled Belarusian professionals

Bobova, Nadya (2016) There and Back Again: Post-return experiences of Highly-skilled Belarusian professionals. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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The research lies at the intersection of two large social research areas—highly skilled migration and return migration—and aims to provide a contribution to the studies of sending countries by focusing on post-return experiences of highly skilled professionals in the Belarusian context. Thus, I explore public attitudes toward migration issues in Belarus; investigate the dynamics of return migration among highly skilled migrants; analyse the complexities of highly skilled people’s lifestyles; and study in which ways they apply socio-cultural remittances to different spheres of their lives. Among the main results of this research are the following. This study has conceptualised return in relation to the transnational involvement of returnees, by introducing the concepts of ‘locally oriented’- and ‘transnationally oriented style of life’. These ideal types of post-return lifestyle differ in degree of mobility, attitudes toward home, consumption practices, and type of employment. International experience of living abroad seems to have had a substantial effect on individual styles of life in terms of transnational orientation. However, it appears to be quite heterogeneous and has evident gender differences in its manifestations. Moreover, I argue that formation and transmission of socio-cultural remittances are strongly heterogeneous and selective processes, which manifest themselves to varying degrees not only in different people, but also in different aspects of people’s lives. The analysis of several socio-cultural remittances in private and public spheres showed that under certain conditions, the formation of ‘reactive’ socio-cultural remittances occurred. What is more, in some cases the socio-cultural remittances appeared to have strong gender differences. The results draw on qualitative content analysis of three online discussions (almost 19 thousand posts) and 43 in-depth interviews with highly skilled Belarusian returnees.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Sociology and Social Research (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)
PhD Cycle:28
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/08 SOCIOLOGIA DEI PROCESSI CULTURALI E COMUNICATIVI
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/07 SOCIOLOGIA GENERALE
Uncontrolled Keywords:Highly-skilled migration, return migration, Belarus, public opinion, post-return lifestyles, social remittances.
Repository Staff approval on:30 Mar 2016 12:23

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