Emigration From Latvian - Discourse of Spouses Remaining at Home
AbstractEmigration is one of the major problems in Latvia since, in last 20 years, approximately 50 0000 people left Latvia. Migration as a social phenomen may be a protest against the state policy, and many people consider emigration as an opportunity to improve their material situation. Due to long-term separation, transnational family form becomes more and more popular in Latvia. The study is based on18semi-structured interviews with the spouses of people who emigrated, and the data was analysed using the method of narrative analysis.Separated by distance, parents do not have equal opportunities to participate in upbringing of children and household maintenance. Relationships with the relatives abroad become mediated, distance promotes weakening of emotional bonds. One fifth of the respondents stated that family life had fallen apart due to long separation, and the partner’s departure may be perceived as an escape to avoid responsibility for the family. In decision making about leaving the country, the expected economic benefits often out weight the psychological pressure, chance to improve the financial situation is often more important than being with the family.The separated families frequently find it difficult to adopt to the new situation, and the family members remaining in the home country must cope with all problems of daily life alone, besides that, one of the spouses may meet other partner, which creates a risk of divorce.
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