Occupational Prospects, Life Trajectories and Transnationalism: The Case of Second Generation Albanian Students amidst the Greek Debt Crisis

Tuesday, 12 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal II (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Distributed Paper
Evaggelia KALERANTE, University of W. Macedonia, Greece
Τhe paper explores the changing predispositions and attitudes of second generation Albanian university students under the impact of severe economic crisis in Greece, and the ways in which these are  correlated with re-definitions and innovative approaches for their present and future life conditions.     The findings of this qualitative research are compared to those of our  earlier  project (2005-2006), in order to reveal the impact of  structural changes  on  the individuals choices and decisions of  the second generation as these are shaped in the context of  two (totally) different economic and social  environments.  We emphasize their dissimilar objectives, and the ways in which they affect (and are affected) by their life expectations, their projections of professional preferences, as well as their transnational perspectives of future migratory potentials. The comparative juxtaposition of the orientations of these young adults   before and during the economic crisis under intensified conditions of insecurity and uncertainty, reveals quite clearly a radical change of attitudes, with re-adjustments and questioning their position in the host society as the children of  immigrants.  At the same time, our research attempts to uncover the ways in which male and female students with high human capital re-negotiate their ethnic identity and migrant status within a fluid,  constantly reshaped economic, socio-political, globalized reality of immanent risk. With reduced access to opportunity structures in the host society due to the economic crisis, and limited future life-chances and prospects of upward social mobility, they start to reconsider their life trajectories, making  necessary adaptations and embracing also alternative plans  for  return migration or transnational relocation.