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Browsing by Author "Ubakivi-Hadachi, Pille"

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  • Ubakivi-Hadachi, Pille (2016)
    The constructions of ethno-national identities continue to play an important role in people’s everyday lives and shape the way they perceive themselves as well as others. In certain parts of the world, professed or alleged ethnic belonging becomes a powerful identifier in social interactions and continues to govern them in most unexpected ways. This study will attempt to demonstrate how the analysis of patterned systems of ethno-national identification can lead to the recognition of certain practices of inequalities and dominance in a society. By approaching these problems with a Bourdieusian theory of practice, ethnic identification systems can be analysed as both constructed and constructing structures of difference, forming of and being formed by social inequalities brought about by distinctifying systems of power in the Estonian society. They become part of an intricate relationship between different forms of capitals and persons in the field and we will see how even language proficiency – as powerful signifier of cultural capital as it can be – becomes relative in terms of its usefulness and importance when applied in the context of ethnically laden symbolic capital. As these processes will be viewed in an inter-generational context, family experiences and the maintenance of familial narratives can be considered to play an important role with regard to the preservation of different strategies of self-presentation and self-preservation in various social contexts. As a result of these strategies’ influences in the field of power, subtle but noteworthy signs of symbolic violence emerge and will be subsequently analysed. Thus, one of the final questions raised in this thesis contemplates whether these findings might shed some light on the ways of doing integration research in Estonia by questioning previously used concepts and methods of study. By theorizing differing forms of capitals as constants, which can be used and benefitted from in most diverse social situations, and by not acknowledging the importance of symbolic power hoisted by the majority population in Estonia, these latter approaches are seen as incomplete or even prone to assimilative discourses. Thus, a revised framework for studying ethno-national identities and integration will be proposed.