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Biography and turning points in Europe and America$
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Karla B. Hackstaff and Feiwel Kupferberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428608

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.001.0001

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date: 16 August 2017

Migration biography and ethnic identity: on the discontinuity of biographical experience and how turning points affect the ethnicisation of identity

Migration biography and ethnic identity: on the discontinuity of biographical experience and how turning points affect the ethnicisation of identity

Chapter:
(p.93) Four Migration biography and ethnic identity: on the discontinuity of biographical experience and how turning points affect the ethnicisation of identity
Source:
Biography and turning points in Europe and America
Author(s):

Thea D. Boldt

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.003.0005

Boldt investigates whether overt change like immigration is necessarily a turning point for the actor. Boldt examines a case study of a 50-year-old Polish migrant in Germany who exemplifies certain biographical strategies when dealing with unexpected and sometimes dramatic biographical changes like migration. She analyses how the dynamics of turning points are connected to the phenomenon of ethnicization of biographical experiences and finds that, in this instance, it emerges with the need for personal belonging to an ethnic group. Most important, she argues that in case of migration biographies, we must recognize that biographical reinterpretation processes are not random and do not happen throughout the life course; instead, structures are more often reproduced or reiterated rather than transformed, and turning points are often centred on an initial turning point and are structured accordingly.

Keywords:   Turning points, ethnicization, biographical reinterpretation, biographical strategies

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