Cosmopolitan encounters: highly skilled Latvians in London problematise ethnicity and ‘Eastern Europeanness’

2020-01-24T11:00:36Z (GMT) by Aija Lulle
In this paper I analyse the cosmopolitan aspirations of highly skilled Latvian migrants residing in London. In particular, I explore the nuanced modalities of ethnicity and ‘Eastern Europeanness’ and how these inform everyday encounters with people from different ethnicities and races, and when meeting co-ethnics in a global city. These encounters are illustrated with data, drawn from 18 in-depth interviews with Latvian graduates in London. I argue that such encounters are shaped and informed by the post-Soviet heritage, emerging understandings of inter-racial encounters, hegemonic discourses of ‘East’ and ‘West’, all embedded in specific power relations.