Abstracts Irina Chongarova, University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria Intermarriages, Third Culture and Quest for Identity

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1. Irina Chongarova, University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Intermarriages, Third Culture and Quest for Identity
The paper examines Russian-Bulgarian intermarriages from the perspective of creating a so-called “Third culture”. Further, the quest for identity of the children of intermarriage couples, the Third Culture Kids, is discussed. The survey on which findings are based includes questionnaires and in-depth interviews with respondents – first and second generation of Russian (Russian speaking) immigrants in Bulgaria.

2. Vittore Collina, University of Florence, Italy

Efforts to create a nation: the Italian “Lega Nord”
“Lega Nord” was founded in 1991. The main line of this party fluctuated from a secession of the Northern regions to a federal reform. In its political theory as well as in its language, in its ceremonies, in its mass meetings and in its rites, it is possible to find the effort to create a new nation, “la Padania”, asking for a political independence.

3. John Eade, University of Roehampton and CRONEM, UK

The Bulgars are coming? Representing 'Immigrants' in the British Media
The fast-approaching accession of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU has added a new twist to the media debate about the impact of East European migration on British society since May 2004. The latest 'wave' of migrants, especially Poles, has been hotly debated in the newspapers, television and radio largely in terms of the 'numbers game' and the effect on the national labour market and on local social services. Immigration is seen as a problem to be solved by ensuring that the anticipated Bulgarian/Romanian wave is contained probably through the introduction of work permits. In reaction Romanian officials have contested any attempt to impose work permits while migration experts have questioned whether large numbers will migrate to Britain anyway.


In this paper I will place this contemporary debate in its historical context - the 'numbers game', for example, was established during the 1960s after Enoch Powell's notorious 'Rivers of Blood' speech and the on-going debate about 'multiculturalism' and 'integration'. I will suggest that these debates are rooted in out-dated models of the nation-state and ignore the development of circular migration and the young migrants' ability to keep their options open in a globalising world. 

4. Chris Flood, University of Surrey/CRONEM, UK

The Dialectic of Swamping and Absorption: British (Mis)Perceptions of Prospective Bulgarian and Romanian Immigration in the Context of EU Integration
This paper adopts a politico-cultural perspective on the current concern in the UK over prospective Bulgarian and Roumanian immigration, within the wider context of public distrust of EU integration. While there may be legitimate reasons for attempting to assess the potential impact on sections of the British employment market and on the living conditions/structure of some communities within the UK, if mass immigration was allowed to proceed without controls, other public concerns are based on distorted, ethnocentric perceptions. These misperceptions reflect a pervasive sense that British society and government are debilitated, hence unable to resist processes of swamping and absorption emanating from the European Union, which is viewed as an essentially foreign entity by right-wing politicians and media as well as a substantial portion of the British public. As regards the fear of swamping, demographic anxiety is closely tied to a crisis of national identity for which the immigration issue serves as a potent repository of fear. The EU is represented as a conduit for the passage of alien organisms into the British social body. In the perspective of absorption, the EU, both as an institutional conglomerate and as a set of ongoing, integrative practices, is an amorphous predator sucking the life out of Britain. By those who share these anxieties Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants can be viewed, therefore, as instruments of both processes: they will swarm into Britain in the wake of Poles and other East Europeans, swamping the labour market and welfare system, but they are also part of the process which breaks down British autochthonous identity so that it will eventually be too weakened to resist total Europeanisation.

5. Suman Gupta, Open University/ GIPSC Project, UK

Bulgarian Properties for the British Market
This will mainly address the manner in which Bulgarian properties are being marketed, with ever-growing intensity, in Britain -- the kind of publicity that surrounds it, the kinds of construction of Bulgaria that attends it, and the sort of media coverage that this has received. The paper will speculate on the implications of this marketing for Bulgaria. An attempt will be made to contextualise this British preoccupation with Bulgaria against that other issue which brings Bulgaria into the field of British media and public attention -- fear about imminent migrations from Bulgaria and Rumania. Both have to do with the context of Bulgaria's accession into EU, and are ironically juxtaposed against each other.

6. Zhivko Ivanov, University of Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Balkan “specific” and integration. Films and history (Kusturica “The life is miracle”, Teo Angelopoulos “Ulysse's Gaze”, Ivan Nichev “Bay Ganyo”)
The aim of this presentation is to explore the relation between the so called Balkan “specific” (a system of “own” values which is irreducible to a universal system or European systems of values) and the integration and homogenization of Bulgarian and other Balkan societies in the last decade.

The three films in the title present different ideological paradigms and narrate different perspectives of Balkan Europeanization.

Special attention will be paid to the poetic and artistic interpretation of the Balkan “specific” in the last film of Kusturica where we can see all political and social distortions in the 90th of XX focused through a story placed on the border between the East and the West.
Three models of narrativising Europeanization, and nation-states defending their integrity in the context of globalization, will be presented. The concept of “open society” and its influence on agendas of national and cultural identity will also be considered.

7. Gancho Kolaksazov and Oghyan Fortounoff, International Organization of Migration, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Forced migration and minorities
The law prohibits trafficking in persons in Bulgaria; however, trafficking is a serious problem. The country remains primarily a point of transit and origin, and to a lesser extent of destination, with most victims trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Police reports an upward trend in the number of persons being trafficked from the country.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that it had identified and assisted 621 victims of trafficking between January 2000 and December 2004. The actual number of cases may be much higher.
The NSBOP and IOM report also that victims came from within the country, as well as from Romania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and the countries of central Asia. The destinations of victims trafficked from and through the country are Greece, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Poland, Macedonia, Kosovo, and the countries of Western Europe. Victims overwhelmingly are women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Young women between the ages of 18 and 24, with less education, and with problematic family relations are most vulnerable to being trafficked. Minorities, particularly Roma, and women working in the sex industry are also at particular risk. The IOM reports that 34 percent of the victims it assisted in 2004 were Roma.

8. Albena Kostadinova, Indy-Roma 97

Rural and Urban Roma people: differences and problems
In today’s European Union, there are at least 8 million Roma living in Europe, including almost 6 million in Central and Eastern Europe. According to the last census from year 2001, the Roma population in Bulgaria is at about 4, 7 %.
It is not easy to characterize the Roma. The group encompasses a rich diversity of cultures, languages and lifestyles and as such is not homogeneous. In Western Europe there are still itinerant groups, but in Bulgaria Roma usually tend to be permanently settled in one place. The majority live in poverty, but there are also some who belong to the middle and rich classes and enjoy a very reasonable standard of living. Although, there are Roma still living in fairly traditional, rural conditions, many live in towns, very often in urban ghettos. There is a huge distinction between the Roma people living in urban and rural surroundings.

9. Plamen Makariev, University of Sofia, Bulgaria

Paradigmatic Characteristics of Multiculturalist Theories
The thesis defended in this paper is based upon the assumption that multiculturalism is a paradigm of research and public policy whose differentia specifica is the public status of cultural differences. I claim that if we assume this, certain normative requirements follow concerning the theories, which outline the methodology of establishing and maintaining, without negative consequences for society, a cultural order of this kind. I try to substantiate the thesis that a public status of cultural specificities cannot be theoretically justified if the theory in question does not correspond to three criteria: that it is characterized by cultural relativism; that it provides a culturalistic interpretation of individual and collective identity; and that it justifies in some way a substantial interest in (i. e. an “openness” toward) the Other. As negative instances (i. e. as theories each of which misses one of these characteristics) I quote the conceptions about recognition of Ch. Taylor, L. Blum and A. Honneth, showing the deficiencies in their approach to cultural diversity.

10. Aleksander Wojciech Mikołajczak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland

Polish Islam in the intercultural dialogue


This paper deals with the co-existence of Tartars and the Polish during the former’s six hundred years of residence in Poland, and tries to answer the following questions:

  • Who are the Polish Tartars and other non-Tartar Islamic believers in modern Poland?

  • How did the Tartar settlement in Poland come about?

  • Where are the main clusters of the Polish Tartars and where do other Islam believers live in Poland nowadays?

  • How have the Tartars found their new homeland in Poland?

  • What did the acculturation process change in Tartar culture?

  • Why was the process of acculturation of the Polish Tartars peaceful?

  • With whose aid do Polish Muslims lead the intercultural dialogue?

11. Andreas Pribersky, University of Vienna, Austria

EU-enlargement: a need for a redefinition of the national identity of new member states?
This contribution will compare some cases of the debates about national identity, enhanced in the process of EU-enlargement(s), from Austria’s accession to the ongoing EU-enlargement. The focus of the analysis will be the public (re)presentation of conflicting national and European identities with a perspective on similar and/or different cultural patterns the public debate refers to.

12. Petar Vodenicharov, South-West University, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

Personal Names and  Identities of Muslims of West Rodopi Mountain
In the frame of Linguistic Anthropology the author researches the influence of  Islam religion, local  folk tradition, ethnicity and official state policy in the giving of personal names among Muslims in several West Rodopy mountain villages (Drjanovo, Debren, Ribnovo, Osikovo).
Special attention has been paid to both still-alive  memories of the Communist state campaign of forced changing of  personal names and religious identity of Bulgarian Muslims (Pomaks) in 70s and 80s of the 20th century and the new processes of  work migration (mainly to Portugal and Spain) and social  mobility.
The practice of having two names and identities - an official and a hidden (cripto) one - is analyzed. Popular ethnic origin myths, religious beliefs, local folk traditions and popular modernization visions are also discussed.
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