Seeking a Place to Rest: Representation of Bounded Movement among Russian-Jewish Homecomers



This study explores person-place relations in the context of the crisscross movement of Russian-Jewish immigrants (university students) who came to Israel in the early 1990s and who subsequently returned to their homeland on a visit. Readings of the immigrants' "visiting tales" uncovered a repertoire of five identity practices, each of which constitutes a different analytical type of person-place relation. Our analysis attests to the existence of a multiplicity of ways by which immigrants orient to the existence of place(s) and experience places while they re-constitute their relationship with both the old and the new country. Furthermore, it elucidates how they seek a place in which to rest rather than being constantly on the move. This article shows how national homecoming is a living metanarrative that regulates immigrants' relations to place even in the transnational era. It suggests that postmodern thought should be more attentive to the manner in which metanarratives (national, ethnic, ecological) produce identity practices that orchestrate movement in space and endow meaning to person-place relations.