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DOI: 10.18413/2408-9338-2022-8-1-0-2

Bulgarian, European and Global identities interplay and socio-cultural adaptation of Bulgarian returnees

The Covid-19 pandemic has influenced migration and mobility patterns worldwide. One of the tendencies, marked with a positive sign in the early months after its spread in Bulgaria, was the observed reverse movements of Bulgarian citizens coming back to the country. In this context, the article explores the identity dimensions and the socio-cultural adaptation processes of returnees to Bulgaria.  They moved back during the last 1 to 5 years and have been abroad in the broad span from 2 to more than 10 years in one or more countries of destination. The article presents initial results collected within a larger study, which research design consists of both quantitative and qualitative methods, a national representative survey, seven focus group discussions in seven regions in the country and more than 35 in-depth interviews. The current article is focused mainly on some of the in-depth semi-structured interviews. One of the initial results is that the Bulgarian national identity does not weaken over time and remains constant and leading compared to the European and the global ones.Another outcome is that the country of destination does not necessarily foster developing a second national identity, even in cases of acquired citizenship.The situations and practices, in which the migration experience of returnees have influenced their identification with Europe, the European Union and could be considered as a point of building a supranational identity, are mostly through travelling and mobility across Europe, as well as studying in different countries as a citizen of the European Union.

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