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The One Who Has Arrived Has A Long Way To Go Estonian Refugees In Sweden In 1944-53
Södertörn University, Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES). Stockholm University.
2016 (English)In: Cultural Patterns And Life Stories / [ed] Joesalu, K Kannike, A, Tallin: Tallinn University Press, 2016, p. 161-182Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

What happened to Estonian refugees in Sweden aft er the Second World War, how did their lives continue? Professional identities have been documented in a random sample of 2000 refugees nine years aft er arrival. From this sample, refugees aged 30-40 at arrival have been selected, to investigate the consequences of rupture. Trajectories differed widely. Educated men, i.e. high school (gumnaasium) or university graduates with culturally specific skills seldom reached high positions in Sweden, whereas refugees with medical and technical skills oft en continued good careers. Other "winners" were educated women who found skilled work in a rapidly growing public sector in Sweden. Less educated men and women could find opportunities to top up their education, but the majority ended up as factory workers. Socially, a close and organised exile community developed, oft en led by men with political and cultural skills but thwarted careers. It was dedicated to the task of informing the world about injustices suffered by the Estonian people, and to the fight against communism. Matters such as the social problems of refugee life were not a high priority. The children brought to or born in Sweden were to be raised as true Estonians, to avoid adaptation to Swedish norms. Despite an initially warm welcome, the exile community remained at the margins of Swedish society due to mutual political distrust. As their influence on social majority continued to be weak, the community opted to strengthen minority rights. In this way they contributed to the emergence of a multicultural society in Sweden. However, the struggle to raise children as 'pure' Estonians seems unsuccessful.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Tallin: Tallinn University Press, 2016. p. 161-182
Series
Acta Universitatis Tallinnensis-Socialia, ISSN 1736-941X
Keywords [en]
refugees, professional identities, gender, exile community, Swedish society
National Category
Cultural Studies
Research subject
Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39905ISI: 000471165400007ISBN: 978-9985-58-819-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-39905DiVA, id: diva2:1385773
Conference
Conference Cultural Patterns and Life Stories in Memory of Aili Aarelaid-Tart, Talinn, ESTONIA, August 27, 2014.
Available from: 2020-01-15 Created: 2020-01-15 Last updated: 2020-01-15Bibliographically approved

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Kõll, Anu Mai

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf