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Session Overview
RN36_01b_P: Migration: Experiences and Perceptions
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Yulia Prozorova, Sociological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences
Location: PE.6.42
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: E, Level: 6.

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Acquiring human capital through international migration. The case of young Romanian returnees

Georgiana Toth1,2, Alin Croitoru1,3, Monica Șerban1,4

1Centre for Migration Studies (CeSMig), University of Bucharest; 2National Institute for Research and Development URBAN-INCERC Bucharest; 3quot;Lucian Blaga" University of Sibiu; 4Research Institute for Quality of Life (ICCV), Romanian Academy

During the last 28 years Romania experienced a massive emigration. Over three million of Romanian citizens are living in Italy, Spain, Germany, UK or other European countries. Many others have now returned home after living and working for a while in other countries. The paper is based on about 50 in-depth interviews conducted with Romanian youth who lived for at least 6 months in another EU country and who returned. The data are part from a larger sample of qualitative data collected during 2016 within the research framework provided by the Horizon 2020 – YMOBILITY project. The analysis sets out to address a series of questions. Firstly, which are the main skills, competences and work values that young migrants perceive they gain through migration? Secondly, which were the main mechanisms of accumulating human capital abroad? Thirdly, how useful is this stock of human capital after their return? We selected only those migrants who were employed in typically ‘unskilled’ jobs in the destination countries, especially in the field of construction, agriculture and domestic service. We compare these groups of migrants in the broader context of their educational background, experiences of work abroad and of (re)integrating on the labour market after returning to Romania. Our findings show that the type of jobs performed at the destination provides different opportunities for acquiring new skills and competences; after return some of these do not automatically translate into an advantage on the labour market for all migrants.

The lived experiences of Bulgarian migrants - transforming contexts, changing subjectivities

Siyka Kostadinova Kovacheva1,2, Boris Petrov Popivanov1,3

1New Europe Centre for Regional Studies; 2Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv; 3St kliment Ohridski University of Sofia

A major ingredient of the transformative processes in present-day Bulgaria is the increased mobility of human capital. The dominant interpretation in public debates is not that of restoring the right to movement suppressed during communism nor that of enhancing European integration. Rather emigration is seen as contributing to the depopulation of the country and its economic decline. While the increased migration flow after the accession to the EU does pose challenges to the democratic reforms in the country, its consequences cannot be understood without capturing the complexity of motivations and choices of the actors in the process. What are the individual factors which influence migrants’ decisions at all stages of migration: from the initial consideration of making the move, through the stages of preparation, travel, and adaptation in the new context? Why do different groups of migrants use different channels of migration and which of them serve for successful integration?

This paper provides answers to these questions based on country results from a comparative study of migration funded under Horizon2020. Based on 38 interviews-in-depth with prospective and actual migrants from Bulgaria in four EU countries and 10 expert interviews with staff in public and private employment agencies it examines the motives and expectations, formal and informal channels for mobility and people’s changing subjectivities. A crosscutting focus is placed on the inequalities in terms of gender and skills levels in mobilizing different types of social ties.

Unexpected changes in immigration status amongst Czech and Slovak migrants post Brexit: Gender perspective on pre and post 2004 immigration to the UK.

Katarina Zajacova

University of Surrey, United Kingdom

The Central and Eastern European (CEE) pre 2004 immigration to the UK is an understudied and highly gendered phenomenon. The EU enlargement of 2004 completely changed the migration dynamics between the two regions and the current political situation is often referred to as a direct outcome of those migration related decisions made by the Labour government of the time.

This paper examines the sudden changes in the immigration status of Czech and Slovak migrants post Brexit. It highlights some concerns amongst Czech and Slovak communities and debates the differences between migrants who arrived to the UK before the EU enlargement and those who entered the country after 2004. The focus of the debate is on the gender element and how immigration policies affect men and women in a different way. It also evaluates the idea of return migration and the sudden loss of the notion of fluidity that we got used to over the last decade. The concept of transnationalism is re-evaluated by taking into consideration the new political climate in the UK and in other regions.



University of Pristina, Faculty of Philosophy, Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia

The paper is based on the results of empiric researches of ethnic distance of students in Serbia regarding the members of the former Yugoslav nations and national minorities, as well as regarding certain number of great world nations. Ethnic distance was measured several times among Serbian students in the north of Kosovo and Metohija (K&M) and twice among students in Belgrade from 2009 to 2016, as well as for the first time among Albanian students in Pristina in December 2016/January 2017. Adapted Bogardus scale was used as the instrument. The biggest result of ethnic distance is measured towards Albanians, similar in surveys from the Yugoslav period. The highest distance among Albanian students is in regard to Serbs. Comparison with the results of similar researches from the Yugoslav period shows a significant increase of level of ethnic distance.

Findings of this longitudinal research have confirmed that: a) there is a connection between increase of ethnic distance and involvement in war actions in which Serbs were one of the sides; b) high distance has been noticed regarding some of great European and non-European nations, which is possible to explain by attitudes of their governments to the Yugoslav crisis, with exception of the relation of Serbian students to Russians and Greeks; c) positive correlation between ethnic and confessional distance also has been established; d) war breakage of Yugoslavia has left a strong potential for conflicts, expressed by high ethnic distance, particularly in K&M.

Key words: ethnic distance, students in Serbia 2009-2017, breakage of Yugoslavia, conflict potential in Kosovo and Metohija.

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