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Authors: Dushka Matevska
Zoran Matevski
Keywords: diaspora, Macedonian identity, ethnic isolation, transnationalism
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Members of the Macedonian diaspora are comfortable in, and have a sense of belonging in both Macedonia and Overseas Countries, with both countries featuring strongly in their personal identity. It is clear that transnationalism is a prominent feature of Macedonian life. The duality of Macedonian identity is also manifest in their language use and skills, with high rates of fluency and literacy in both Macedonian and English. Use of Macedonian clearly reinforces Macedonian identity. This in turn facilitates access to Macedonian media, which itself further reinforces the Macedonian element in the person's identity. These show that there are a number . of means by which the Macedonian diaspora is reproduced. These include a high number of visits to the homeland, family ties and regular communication between thecountries. Engagement in this contact reinforces knowledge, care and identification with R.Macedonia. What is also evident is that the main driver of the diaspora's relationship with the homeland is strong family ties. This primarily explains visitation, communication and the emotional concerns and empathy. It is often the extended rather than nuclear family that ties the diaspora to the homeland, and as such the nature of the family unit and its status within Macedonian culture is arguably the most important driver in maintaining a diaspora-homeland relationship. Ties with Macedonia may be weakening for younger Macedonians born in overseas countries. This is evidenced by lower levels of engagement and identification than those born overseas, and a diminution in the depth and nature of ties is likely. This means that other models for engagement between this younger overseas born diaspora and the homeland are necessary if these ties are to be maintained. Social media is one obvious tool that can be effectively utilised for this purpose.
ISBN: 978-608-65643-6-0
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Pedagogy: Conference papers

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