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Fateful Well-Being:

Childhood and Youth Transitions Among Latvian Women in Finland

Aija Lulle and Agnese Bankovska

Abstract

In this article we investigate what happens to the children who are brought to a new country along with their parents, and how they, now young adults, narrate the ‘self’ as a migrant child and adolescent in different temporal and spatial contexts. We draw on five long narrative interviews with young women who were born in Latvia and came to Finland during their childhood. For our analysis of these narratives, we coin a notion of ‘fateful well-being’. The research participants’ challenges as child migrants, where geographical displacement was compounded by language changes and discontinuities in schooling, as well as ruptures with family members and friends, are revalued and appropriated through the self-development skills of reflexive narration. Within the concept of fateful well-being, youth transitions involve both constrained agency and choices towards well-being. We argue that reconciling difficulties is a vital part of fateful well-being.