Post-colonial and post-socialist perception of global hierarchies. The case of Indonesians and Hungarians in the Netherlands

Principal investigator: Márton Hunyadi

Period: 2017 - 

Research questions and objectives:

The research aims to investigate the construction of cognitive hierarchies of Hungarian and Indonesian migrants living in the Netherlands, on the discursive level: 1) How cognitive hierarchies are constructed in reference to the global hierarchies such as the civilizational slope, the developmental hierarchies, the coloniality of power, etc. 2) How the hierarchical categorization is reconstructed in immigrants’ social practices.

On individual level the research aims to explore that how immigrants, from different altitude on the hierarchical slope, perceive their position in reference to a) the host society, b) the sending society, c) the other immigrant groups, and d) their own immigrant community.

Research methods:

On the one hand, Critical Discourse Analysis and Online Ethnography are conducted within relevant groups of social networking websites (dedicated to Indonesians and Hungarian living in the Netherlands). These groups allow to observe the construction and reconstruction of the cognitive hierarchies and the hierarchical categorization by analyzing not only the original texts but also the responses and comments on them.

On individual level, narrative-biographic interviews were conducted with Indonesian and Hungarian migrants living in the Netherlands. The interviews aim to explore their self-positioning on the hierarchy and their perception of others, the host society, other immigrant groups as well as their sending society and own immigrant group. The interviews were conducted on the native language of the interviewees (Indonesian/Hungarian).


Hunyadi, M: Hierarchical positioning of postcolonial and postsocialist migrants. In: Hans-Heinrich Nolte, Manuela Boatca, Andrea Komlosy Hg. (eds.): WORLDREGIONS, MIGRATIONS AND IDENTITIES (Political Economy of the World System Vol.2) = Zur Kritik der Geschichtsschreibung Bd. 13, Muster-Schmidt Verlag Gleichen Zürich 2016.