Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Contemporary strategies of Slovenian emigrants for the preservation of ethnic identity

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.11.02  Social sciences  Ethnic studies  Ethnic studies - humanistic aspect 

Code Science Field
H000  Humanities   

Code Science Field
5.04  Social Sciences  Sociology 
Slovenian emigrants/their descendants, diasporic communities, preservation of ethnic identity, contacts with (ancestors') homeland, return migration
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (7)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  17057  PhD Aleksej Kalc  Historiography  Researcher  2016 - 2018  404 
2.  11240  PhD Marinka Lukšič-Hacin  Ethnic studies  Researcher  2016 - 2018  519 
3.  17547  Špela Marinšek    Technical associate  2016 - 2018 
4.  08369  PhD Mirjam Milharčič Hladnik  Culturology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  605 
5.  20379  PhD Jernej Mlekuž  Culturology  Researcher  2016 - 2018  421 
6.  32551  Marijanca Ajša Vižintin  Linguistics  Researcher  2016 - 2018  652 
7.  05801  PhD Janja Žitnik Serafin  Literary sciences  Head  2016 - 2018  373 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  62,024 
The theme of the proposed project involves the role of young Slovenian emigrants or descendants of Slovenian emigrants of various generations in the formation of different relationships to the Slovenian ethnic identity in the emigration context, their connections with diasporic communities, their ties with their homeland or the homeland of their ancestors, the preservation or the changing of those ties, and questions related to their possible return/migration to Slovenia. OBJECTIVES To explore how young emigrants and descendant of emigrants experience nowadays their ethnic and cultural identity and how they look upon active participation in the structures and practices that give meaning to diasporic communities and their relations to Slovenia. The focus will be on the differences between those who do and those who do not take part in the diasporic community life and its practices. The project aims at pointing out elements of this differentiation, and understanding their deeper reasons and also related differences that exist inside a diaspora and between them. To shed light upon questions concerning the specificity of the social-cultural situation of the young in the Slovenian emigration context. To record new ideas and wishes of the young concerning organisation patterns and activities in the diaspora that could contribute to the preservation of diasporic communities and prompt increased participation of younger generations. To research into the question of the return migration or immigration of young descendants of Slovenian emigrants to Slovenia. The purpose of this part of the research is to find out how the observed groups view that possibility, whether or how much Slovenia is part of their plans, and under what circumstances the possibility of their returning/moving to Slovenia would be realised. The project will look into their perception of Slovenia, how this perception has been influenced by their (life, work …) experience abroad, and what kind of Slovenia would meet their (economic, social, cultural …) expectations and would thus have a positive effect on their Slovenian identity. Within individual work packages, the project will observe three groups of Slovenian emigrants or their descendants: 1) a group in Germany, 2) a group in Austria, 3) a group in the countries of the former Yugoslavia. Each of the areas defining these three work packages is representative for the research into the proposed theme of the Public Call in its own way: Germany and Austria are the two foremost destinations of the current Slovenian emigration, whereas the so-called Yugoslav area is the area from which most people of Slovenian descent immigrate to Slovenia. These three areas highly differ from each other in terms of the position of Slovenian immigrants and their offspring living there as well as in terms of their role in the context of the historical presence of Slovenians and past and present migration movements from and to Slovenia. Because of these differences and their representative characteristics relating to emigration from and immigration to Slovenia, these three groups of the observed individuals reflect the questions pointed out in the theme 2.2.1 of the Public Call better than any other possible group. RESEARCH METHODS The analysis will be primarily based on the qualitative approach, using the following methods: · semi-structured in-depth interview and guided interview, · observation with participation, · life stories, · content analysis, · secondary (comparative) analysis of existing research results, · methods of oral history and auto/biographical methods, · textual and discourse analyses, · case studies. A part of the research will be based on fieldwork abroad while a number of interviews will be obtained through the Internet (e-mail, skype). In addition to that, the interdisciplinary research approaches that have been developed by the research group during the last three decades will be
Significance for science
The Law on relations of the Republic of Slovenia with Slovenians abroad (Uradni list RS, no. 34/2006) states that Slovenia will protect and promote the development of Slovenian language, culture, national heritage and national identity of Slovenians abroad (Article 9) and that research institutions in Slovenia should pay special attention to the research of past and present social reality of Slovenian communities around the world (Article 36). With topical themes and pluralist research approaches, the project team wishes to contribute vitally to the consolidation of migration studies in Slovenia as one of the most relevant fields of research that is still drawing much more academic attention abroad than in Slovenia. Migrations of Slovenians and members of other ethnic groups during the past two centuries are one of the basic social processes on the national, European and global levels. With quality interdisciplinary research of Slovenian emigration, with further theoretical-methodological and thematic research, with actualisation of research contents, the use of comparative approach and its embedment into various international projects, the project group hopes to rank Slovenian research achievements side by side with globally relevant research results and thus directly contribute to further development of migration studies as an autonomous international and interdisciplinary research field. The original research findings on Slovenian emigration will offer new insights and thus present an important part of the international scientific corpus. Emphasising the humanistic approaches to the research of Slovenian migration issues, which will predominantly be used in the proposed research project, the project team would like to strengthen the perception of migration studies and of the research field of “Ethnic Studies” (“Nationality Question”) as a research field in which social sciences and the humanities are of equal importance. Thanks to the highly diverse composition of the project team, with members drawn from a broad range of the humanities and social sciences, the interdisciplinary research methods employed by the group are frequently new. The project team will continue to introduce its methodological innovations and original findings to the international academic audiences through the international publication of results and participation in international projects, conferences and academic associations.
Significance for the country
Economic aspect is of great importance regarding the connectedness and preservation of the diasporic community and its contacts with Slovenia. Emigration from Slovenia as well as (return) migration of emigrants and their descendants to Slovenia is based on the expectations and possibilities for the fulfilment of plans that potential migrants do or do not see in the places under consideration. The choices concerning emigration or return migration are nowadays much more complex and “individualised” than they were in the past. They depend on professional profiles and opportunities that the labour market offers either for employment, self-employment or enterprise. The project will show the relations between this aspect and the aspect of the preservation or maintenance of emigrant communities or other connections between emigrants. It will contribute to answering the question of whether the organised diasporic community – through its existing or alternative forms of interconnectedness – can play a notable role not only in the preservation of the Slovenian identity and culture but also in the field of economy.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2016, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2016, final report
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