Loughborough University
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Transylvanian Saxons' migration from Romania to Germany: the formation of a 'return' diaspora?

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posted on 2013-01-24, 09:11 authored by Lucia Paul
Processes and patterns of migration on a global scale have changed in profound ways during the last two decades (Smith and King, 2012). In the European context, this is exemplified by transformations to the traditional mobility patterns from East to West Europe (Koser and Lutz, 1998), with migrants more likely to be involved in temporary circular and transnational mobility (Favell, 2008). Since the end of the Second World War, historical and political events in Europe have facilitated the mobility of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe to Germany. Subsequently, the fall of the Iron Curtain has permitted unrestrained East-West movements, which resulted in mass migrations towards the West and diaspora fragments in the East. However, after settlement in the West, ethnic Germans have also been absorbed within wider temporary and transnational movements (Koser, 2007). Within this context, this thesis examines the post-migratory lives of three generations of Transylvanian Saxons in Germany by exploring the cultural, social, economic and political dimensions of this community. This thesis aims to contribute to on-going academic debates about diasporas by explicitly responding to Hoerder s (2002) call for more studies on ethnic German diasporas. It shows that Transylvanian Saxons, who relocated to the ancestral homeland, do not disrupt identities and lives forged in diaspora, but rather, they negotiate complex identities and belongings in relation to both home and homeland . It reveals a double diaspora and the necessity to perceive identity and diaspora as dynamic processes and constantly evolving in relation to time, space and place. This double diasporic allegiance in the case of the Transylvanian Saxons suggests interrogating the formation of a return diaspora and its importance for processes of international migration.



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© Lucia Diana Paul

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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