Social factors as the catalyst of emigration


The objectives of the paper are to analyze how the reasons of emigration are connected with a person’s sense of belonging and loyalty to the country of origin and the ties within the social network and the local community. In order to achieve the study’s goals, the qualitative study methodology is used based on biographical approach in social sciences considering personal experience as an important resource in the study of social life as well as in the analysis of the interaction in community. Quantitative data from emigrants’ survey are used in the paper as well. This study is based on 25 life story interviews with expatriates who emigrated to Sweden after the restoration of Latvia independence in 1991. Thematic analysis of life stories as theoretical approach as well the data from emigrants’ survey are used for sociological study. This information reveals the social factors influencing the motivation to emigrate. Conclusions: The social factors influencing the well-being of families with children are of a great importance similarly to economic factors in decision making to emigrate. Biographical interviews and survey data reveal that poor social support (instrumental, financial, informative, emotional) both in community as well as in closest social network, problems with access to services (education, health) and risk of social exclusion are the reasons that motivate emigration. The social support is closely connected with social integration. Access to social support, possibilities to use different kinds of it is essential factor of individual well-being, lack of social support could facilitate social exclusion and isolation.

Mar 24, 2021 — Mar 26, 2021
Rīga (Latvija)
Maruta Pranka

Socioloģe, LU Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūta pētniece

Ginta Elksne

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