Homing Desire at the Juncture of Place and Transnational Spaces: The Case of Young Kurds in Finland

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Abstract

Transnational connections and attachments fostered by migrants’ offspring between different geographical localities have introduced new dynamics that must be considered in determining how identity formation relates to place. Raised in a transnational field, the way members of the generation-in-between develop a sense of belonging puts into question the centrality of territoriality in understanding the meanings of home and homeland. This paper examines the (digital) transnational ties among young Kurds in Finland and how territorial and non-territorial frames of reference feature in their narratives. The data for this paper derive from interviews conducted with 23 young adults of Kurdish origin currently residing in Finland. Herein we make use of four of these interviews to illustrate in ideal-typical form the variety of ways that young adult members of this diaspora community forge their own identities. The findings indicate that transnational ties represent a form of cultural continuity with one’s past in the homeland, while simultaneously raising fundamental issues about what it means to call Finland home.

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