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Aija Lulle and Elza Ungure

Abstract

In this paper we analyse emerging discourses of fear on the one hand and safety and security on the other. In the context of rupture - sudden, unprecedented asylum flows as well as the historical context of the fear and experience of losing the state’s freedom, we pose the following research question: Where do insecurities and fear come from and how are spaces of security and safety carved out through public discourses? We argue that, instead of singling out political discourses in Eastern European as filled with hatred towards other ethnicities and races or an inability to show solidarity with human suffering, we have to open up a far more deep reaching debate on the interplay of fear and the willingness to create safer, more secure futures. We illustrate this with examples from media debates in Latvia, in late 2015.

Open access

Russell King and Aija Lulle

Abstract

This paper describes the circumstances surrounding the migration of older Latvian women and their multi-dimensional lives as economic migrants and as distant carers and supporters of diverse family members who remain in Latvia. In post-Soviet Latvia, especially since the 2008 financial crisis and the austerity measures which took away hope for a decent old-age pension, older women migrate abroad in order to salvage their economic wellbeing and support their multi-generation families, which can run to four generations – their children and grandchildren plus, often, their elderly parents. Migration enables these women to maintain multidirectional flows of care and also to achieve economic and psychosocial independence. Therefore, care practices that reach four generations put the figure of the grandmother at the core of transnational care relations. Research evidence for this paper comprises 50 in-depth interviews with older Latvian migrant women aged from their mid-40s to their late 60s in the UK and elsewhere. The paper demonstrates the complexity and richness of these women’s working lives, built around enhanced economic wellbeing, multiple and transnational caring responsibilities, and a new sense of self-worth and empowerment.

Open access

Youth Mobility and Well-Being:

Transitions and Intersections

Aija Lulle and Russell King

Open access

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.