Publication details [#19627390]

Astapova, Anastasiya . 2020. Ferroconcrete cases, sausage migrants, and Santa Barbara: self-reflexive metaphors among Russian-speaking refugees in Estonia. Journal of Baltic Studies 51 (1) : 87–103.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language


In this article, the results of a fieldwork among refugees and asylum seekers in Estonia are presented. After an explanation of the refugee situation in Estonia and its public perception which mainly concentrates on Asian and African refugees, the article focuses on a large yet overlooked group of asylum seekers from post-Soviet countries, the reasons they have for coming to Estonia, and the main discussions among them on the asylum process. The analysis of how this considerable refugee community conceives of the asylum-seeking process in Estonia collectively provides the understanding of the Estonian asylum migration system from below. Data show how self-reflexive metaphors crystallizing in the discussions of Russophone refugees codify the asylum-seeking process in familiar categories and help them to navigate the legal strategies for constructing the narrative appealing to the decision-makers.