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The Kosovar Diaspora in Switzerland: cultures, identities and sense of belongings

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)
Author Cola Marta, Mauri Brusa Manuel,
Project The role of media in cultural and social identities construction. The case of Kosovar immigrants in Switzerland
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Contribution to book (peer-reviewed)

Book Border Terrains: World Diasporas in the 21st Century
Editor , A. Eamer
Publisher Inter-disciplinary Press, Oxford
Page(s) 119 - 128
ISBN 978-1-84888-117-4
Title of proceedings Border Terrains: World Diasporas in the 21st Century

Open Access


Transnational migration movements are a part of the contemporary multicultural societies, which persist over time as a defining factor for social living (see D’Amato, Fibbi and Hily 2009). An increasing number of people are negotiating their identities between continuity and change, between similarity and difference, with references to both the new place and to what has been left behind (de Leeuw and Rydin: 2007). Our investigation fits into the research area focusing on the role of media in identity construction, which is becoming more and more central within Diaspora studies (e.g. Gillispie: 1995, 2000; Aksoy and Robins: 2000, 2003). The paper focuses on the Kosovar Diaspora in Switzerland, which represents a prominent group both in terms of size (about 200,000 individuals) and as a target of integration policies, but on which very few data are available. Our interdisciplinary research explores three aspects of the Kosovar Diaspora in Switzerland: it traces the defining characteristics of its media consumption; it analyses the processes of social and cultural identities construction between home and host countries and determines the communication networks and the imagined communities created and maintained through media use; and finally it investigates issues of integration. The study also analyses how immigrants’ media use influences on the one side identification processes and multiple senses of belonging, and on the other side how the exposure to different cultural media products affects the cultural identities of individuals. Following the example set by media studies, the research is based on qualitative methods, and in particular on in-depth interviews and focus groups conducted in the three main linguistic regions of Switzerland. Interviewees have been identified through purposive sampling, according to the variables of age, gender and period of stay in Switzerland; confounding variables are accounted for in the analysis through stratification.