The Idea of Home in Life stories: Latvian Experience


Focus on home offers a fruitful perspective to study the narrative construction of identity in a globalized world, where people move between numerous positions and relate to different localities at the same time. Rather than explaining away ambivalences, home allows us to see the question of identity as inherent in the experiences and words of those under study. This is particularly the case in studying identity construction in a post-migration context. Latvia’s population is one of the most mobile nations in Europe, a typical ‘sending country’. For migrants and their descendants especially, their own ‘home’ is often far from self-evident, while at the same time the image of home as ‘something self-evident’ does persist (Stock 2017). Therefore authors aim to research home, homeland, and identity in the context of mobile living situations of Latvians. The fundamental notions of self and belonging, movement and home can best be articulated in personal narratives and elicited through in-depth interviewing. Research is based on biographical interviews with representatives of various socio-economic and age groups, both in Latvia and in diaspora collected in the Latvian National Oral History archive. The collection consists of audio interviews, mainly conducted as life stories. Over the course of the research, the National Oral History collection has recorded more than 4700 memory stories.

May 13, 2022
Limerika (Īrija)
Ginta Elksne

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

Maruta Pranka

Socioloģe, LU Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūta pētniece