Rupturing otherness: becoming Estonian in the context of contemporary Britain

Mariann Martsin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (SciVal)


While identity construction continues to be a widely discussed and researched area in contemporary social sciences, the existing theories have overlooked the importance of understanding why and how identities as semiotic constructions emerge in individuals' consciousness in the flow of their everyday functioning. This article seeks to address this limitation in the theorizing by proposing an alternative conceptualization of identity, according to which identity construction is triggered by rupturing life-experience, which surfaces another perspective and makes the person aware of a possibility to be otherwise or of the reality of being different. Theoretical claims put forward in the paper are drawn from data gathered in a recent study, which explored lived-through experiences of young Estonians, who made study-visits to the United Kingdom. The discussed data will also highlight some interesting aspects in Estonians' self-definition as it is constructed in relation to Eastern-European identity in the context of contemporary Britain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-81
Number of pages17
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • identity
  • addressivity
  • rupture
  • sense-making
  • dialogue


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