Intergenerational relations and migration in families among Latvian emigrant communities


Considering the small size of Latvia’s population, the significant drop in numbers driven by emigration over the last decade has posed a serious challenge. Latvia, which barely has two million residents, is one of the typical ‘sending countries’ in Europe. Since 2000, some 10% of the population has emigrated. This study focuses on the intergenerational ties between Latvian migrants and the family members they leave behind. The family unit is not just a source of economic and emotional support; it is a foundation that allows us to maintain language, values and cultural traditions. According to life story interviews with Latvian expatriates and their relatives at home as well as qualitative research data, the relationships between family members play an important role in maintaining family ties, preserving language and traditions and upholding links with the homeland. Our analysis draws on life story interviews collected in the Latvian National Oral History Archive. We also apply quantitative data derived from a large-scale web-based survey of Latvian emigrants (n=14 068, European Social Fund project «Latvian Emigrant Communities», 2014) and the second phase of a longitudinal survey in the LCS project «Exploring Well-being and Social Integration in the Context of Liquid Migration».

Nov 12, 2020 — Nov 13, 2020
Rīga (Latvija)
Ginta Elksne

Socioloģe, LU zinātniskā asistente, strādā LU Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūtā.