Performing Russianness: narratives and everyday conversations of the Russian communities in Scotland
The main aim of this project is to explore the construction of national identity as performed by members of the Russian-speaking communities living in Scotland through the analysis of intergenerational narratives and conversations between parents and their children appearing in families in everyday situations. The subject of the research is the Russian community living in Scotland. This thesis aims to answer the following questions: How do Russian migrants construct and re-construct their Russianness during the constant process of interpretation of the new reality, new country, new culture. In what way do they attempt to exhibit their Russianness to their children in the process of everyday interaction? How do the children respond to these attempts and how do they contribute and co-construct the creation of identity? Which linguistic means and strategies are used to display and pass on the elements of the identity constructed? Are there any patterns used by adults in identity creations or any likely systematic actions undertaken during the identity performances? Do the adults achieve their intended aims, if they have any? The methodological framework of the thesis exploits Foucault’s, Goffman’s and Blumer’s theories in which the identity is seen as a discursive phenomenon created and shaped by interactions appearing in everyday situations. The empirical data are analysed using Bucholtz and Hall’s sociocultural linguistic approach which enables the embedding of the study of interaction in a broader ethnographic context. Moreover, in the analytical part of the thesis the Conversational Analysis, Narrative Analysis and Membership Categorisation Analysis are employed.