Returnees: unwanted citizens or cherished countrymen

Sojka, B. and Saar, M. (2020) Returnees: unwanted citizens or cherished countrymen. In: Rees, J., Pomati, M. and Heins, E. (eds.) Social Policy Review 32: Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2020. Policy Press: Bristol, pp. 71-92. ISBN 9781447341666 (doi: 10.1332/policypress/9781447341666.003.0004)

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This chapter looks at the ‘othering’ of migrants within discourses of return migration — a reflection of the complex interplay between race, ethnicity, and other aspects of identity, particularly in the fluid context of migration. It analyses Polish and Estonian social policy experts' narratives on returnees and their access to welfare. The concept of othering in relation to welfare can help one to better understand national discourses around migration and return migration. Poland and Estonia have adopted vastly different attitudes towards return migrants: while Estonian policy experts stressed the positive nature of migration (migrants were seen as successful individuals), Polish narratives around migration are more negative, drawing attention to the ‘social costs’ of migration, such as broken families. The Polish experts thus questioned the potential belonging of return migrants, seeing them as a burden on the welfare state, while Estonian experts saw return migration as mostly positive and a sign of loyalty.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sojka, Dr Bozena
Authors: Sojka, B., and Saar, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Social Policy Review 32
Publisher:Policy Press

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