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TRAMES cover
TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2021): 0.467
PDF | DOI: 10.3176/tr.2008.4.04

Heli Hyvönen
This article, which is based on 24 in-depth interviews conducted in 2005 with Finnish immigrant women in Estonia, analyzes immigrant acculturation in relation to cross-border contacts. I compared weak and strong social ties of two groups: respondents who were living in a Finnish ‘enclave’ separated from Estonian society, and respondents who were socially and institutionally integrated into Estonian society. Surprisingly, there was no notable difference in the type and frequency of inter-personal contacts maintained with Finland between the two groups; most interviewees sustained intense inter-personal contacts with family and friends by phone, the Internet and through reciprocal visits. So-called weak ties that bind together rarely interacting people played a major role in the respondent’s integration into the host society. Those women who had no social contacts within Estonian society preferred to use health-care and social welfare services in Finland, whereas the integrated women had established multiple institutional ties to Estonian society.
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