Reviewer carolineht | Review

#407 Sensemaking of "making the change": Social Remittances of High-skilled Remigrants in Lithuania

Coresponding author's contact details

First name Indra Middle name Last name Lukosiene
Title Ms Organization / Institution Vytautas Magnus University Department Centre of Social Anthropology
Address Jonavos str.66 Postal / Zip code LT-44191 Country LT
E-Mail Hidden Phone number Hidden Presenting author Yes

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Abstract title

Sensemaking of "making the change": Social Remittances of High-skilled Remigrants in Lithuania

Abstract text

Governmental, non-governmental organisations, and their multilateral initiatives in Lithuania have recently begun to discuss the actual and potential contribution of high-skilled remigrants to making the change in their home country by bringing ‘good practices’. Several programs were established and dedicated to ‘employ’ migrational experiences, practices, and ideas brought by remigrants. The phenomenon of social remittances introduced and discussed by Levitt (1998) allows looking at these remigrant practices in terms of sensemaking of ‘making the change’. In this paper, based on ethnographic research conducted in 2017-2018 in Lithuania, I raise a question whether social remittances of remigrants could be perceived as sensemaking process, i.e. as an activity which by virtue of constructing, filtering, framing, creating facticity extends ‘the subjective’ into something more tangible (Weick 1995). During the research high-skilled remigrants, working in political organisation, NGOs, as entrepreneurs in private or social businesses emphasised their social remitting in terms of ‘doing good’, ‘making the change’ etc., but it is difficult to hear in these conversations what needs to be changed and needs to be done exactly. Therefore, such social remitting could be perceived as constant sensemaking when remigrants begin to socially remit once they are in some social context (concerning the state organisations, employers and family), which helps them to rediscover retrospectively what needs to be explained, revisited and changed. Therefore instead of speaking about social remitting in terms of ‘result’, we should reconsider these actions as the process of sensemaking.

Conference topic

Panel no. 87 - Capitalizing Return. Remigrants and Transnational Networks as Significant Actors of Change

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Abstract Review

This abstract was reviewed on 2021-01-08 13:01h by carolineht

Reviewer decision