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Geographica Helvetica
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Volume 71, issue 4
Geogr. Helv., 71, 331–340, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-71-331-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Geogr. Helv., 71, 331–340, 2016
https://doi.org/10.5194/gh-71-331-2016
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Standard article 29 Nov 2016

Standard article | 29 Nov 2016

"We look similar and have the same geographical origin": translocal encounters of second-generation Eritreans with a new generation of refugees from Eritrea

Samuel Graf1 and Susan Thieme2 Samuel Graf and Susan Thieme
  • 1Department of Geography, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, Free University Berlin, Malteserstr. 74–100, 12249 Berlin, Germany

Abstract. This article addresses the encounters of second-generation Eritreans with a new generation of refugees from Eritrea in Switzerland and identifies two main types of encounter: direct personal encounters and indirect in the public discourse. It suggests that the recently arrived Eritrean refugees present a new actor within the translocal social field with whom the second-generation Eritreans have to renegotiate their relation. We argue that these encounters frame the second-generation Eritreans' positionality within the translocal social field and influence their identity and their affiliation towards Eritrea and Eritreans. We find that encounters between second-generation Eritreans and new Eritrean arrivals are crucial moments through which second-generation Eritreans form their hybrid identity. Thus, the paper contributes to the debate on identity formation of the second generation by adopting a translocal perspective and provides insights into the diversity in the Eritrean diaspora in Switzerland.

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The arrival of a new generation of Eritrean refugees has shaped the Eritrean diaspora in Switzerland. This paper reveals that encountering the new Eritrean refugees both personally and as a group present important moments in the process of identity formation of second-generation Eritreans. It provides insights into the diversity in the Eritrean diaspora in Switzerland and highlights the importance of encounters with new immigrants for the identity formation process of post-immigrant communities.
The arrival of a new generation of Eritrean refugees has shaped the Eritrean diaspora in...
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