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Nr. 4 der Working Paper Series B/ORDERS IN MOTION ist online – Höfler: Establishing the End of the Soviet Union as a Temporal Boundary. Perspectives from Georgia’s Greek Community

Soeben wurde das vierte Working Paper der Series B/ORDERS IN MOTION veröffentlicht:

Concha Maria Höfler: Establishing the End of the Soviet Union as a Temporal Boundary. Perspectives from Georgia’s Greek Community

Sie finden das Working Paper zum Download hier.

In interview conversations with self-identifying members of Georgia’s shrinking Greek community, consultants regularly contrast aspects of their life that have changed profoundly since the end of the Soviet Union, thereby establishing the end of the Soviet Union as a temporal threshold relating today to a very different yesterday. Based on an ethnographically informed conversation analysis of 49 semi-structured interview conversations, this article aims to further our understanding of what the end of the Soviet Union means to my consultants, contributing a sociolinguistic perspective to current debates in the field of Border and Boundary Studies. I will take two analytical perspectives, both of which highlight different important aspects. Firstly, I follow the metaphor of family breakdown that emerged in the interviews as having occurred on two levels. On a community level, this breakdown of the Soviet “family of nations” is narrated for instance in terms of rising Georgian nationalism. This is perceived as challenging consultants’ belonging to the Georgian nation state and as drawing new boundaries.
On an individual and very tangible level, consultants communicatively have to come to terms with their own families being put under strain through family members’ migration to Greece. Secondly, I follow the tidemarks left by the Soviet yesterday in independent Georgia’s today and how consultants use them to position themselves and their community.