Living in a Mobile World: Migration Intentions and Imagining Family Life of People Born in 1980–2000
The reinstatement of Lithuania’s independence and country’s accession to the European Union provided new employment and career opportunities abroad for Lithuanian residents and contributed to the diversification of family forms. The Lithuanian residents
born between 1980 and 2000 started planning their personal lives in an environment, which significantly differed from that which shaped the personal lives of their parents during the Soviet era. Participation in migration processes through parental, familial or
personal experiences shaped their expectations and behaviour regarding the personal life, causing societal concerns about the departure of young people from Lithuania and transformations of familial relationships, maintained across borders. Drawing on the theoretical ideas proposed by C. Smart (2007) regarding the relationship between social environment, daily practices, and personal life projects, the article analyses how the intensive global migration shapes the migration intentions of persons born in 1980–2000 and raised in independent Lithuania, and the way they imagine the family life. Based on the data from two representative surveys of the Lithuanian population and the quota survey of persons with migration experience, collected while implementing research projects funded by the Lithuanian Science Council (LMTLT), the authors examine how young people create their future plans, what proportion of them consider leaving the country, and how migratory practices adjust the way they imagine family life. The article reveals how the state independence period marked by the development of the open society and mobility created the conditions for a flexible (dis-)connectedness with the country of origin and a unique understanding of family life among young people.