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The Disappointed and Disgruntled: A Study of the Return in the 1990s of Czech Emigrants from the Communist Era

[journal article]

Nespor, Zdenek R.

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Abstract Any in-depth research on Czech emigration to the West in the communist era, & on the return of these emigrants in the 1990s, has until now been almost non-existent, although it could provide a deeper comprehension of present Czech society & its cultural values. The article provides a strong theoretical basis for this kind of study, which starts out from P. Berger's & T. Luckmann's theory of socialization, & compares it with the socioeconomic point of view, considered the most useful research method for this particular field. After a brief description of former developments, the article concentrates on a more detailed analysis of the recent process of the emigrants' return, which is described on the basis of qualitative biographical research. The author attempts to explain why the emigrants decided to return, including the factors of their prosperity abroad & their attitudes to modern capitalism & analyzes the process of their (re-)integration into Czech society. The main conclusion is that economic & work characteristics have played the most important role in the decision, although some other factors (especially time) must also be taken into account. The emigrants who have returned to the Czech Republic have found above-average employment positions in the country. However, their social adaptation contrasts sharply with this prosperity, partly owing to the envy of other people, & partly as a result of the significant difference in attitudes towards individual-collective relations.
Keywords emigration (polit. or relig. reasons)
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration
Free Keywords Czech Republic; Return Migration; Postcommunist Societies; Employment Opportunities; Socialization; Individual Collective Relationship; Social Integration; Socioeconomic Factors
Document language English
Publication Year 2002
Page/Pages p. 789-808
Journal Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review, 38 (2002) 6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications