RN27_05: Work and Education
From the Semi-periphery to the Centre: Transnational Migration in the Context of the Greek Crisis
University of the Peloponnese, Greece
This paper discusses the “new” emigration from Greece to several EU member states in Central Europe and Scandinavia during the current decade. Available data indicate that there has been a significant increase − more than doubling − of the number of, mostly young, Greeks who have been moving to abroad, when compared to the pre-crisis situation. A central idea explored is that behind this migratory wave one may identify the pervasiveness as well as impact of the severe socioeconomic crisis that the said country has been experiencing during the last nine years.
To probe into the differentiated root causes of this migration and actors’ meanings of it several questions are raised. Responses are drawn from a set of 44 qualitative semi-structured interviews completed in September and October 2018, and from an earlier study of 230 persons undertaken in 2015.
The prime aim is by understanding migrant socio-economic profiles as well as structural factors to ascertain the social contexts and reasons for which such migration occurs. Thus, what is from the actors’ viewpoint and meaning the impact of the crisis on themselves, and their milieux? What factors specifically facilitate the decision to emigrate to Europe? The expectation is that this excersise would lead to the identification of the "dynamic" drivers of migration (push factors) and of attraction abroad (pull factors), as well as the settlement of such migrants in Europe, including the channels and social mechanisms that facilitate it, if not formulate it.
Romanian Migration and Territorial Inequalities in Greece in the Era of Austerity
Harokopio University, Greece
Throughout 1990s Greece was transformed from an emigration to an immigration country. During that time, international migration flows contributed to new socioeconomic realities in Greece. Moreover, international migration has become an important aspect of local labour markets both in urban and rural areas. However, since 2008 the economic recession has transformed the socioeconomic conditions and deteriorated the integration prospects and challenges for both migrants and natives.
Since the collapse of the socialist regime, there has been a stable flow of Romanian migrants to Greece. Due to the geographical and cultural proximity between the two countries, Romanians have been among the top immigrant nationalities in Greece. Despite that they initially filled up the less prestigious occupational positions, in the process they moved up the occupational ladder, while in parallel they increased their spatial mobility.
Drawing from an empirical research in the context of the IMAJINE Project (“Integrative Mechanisms for Addressing Spatial Justice and Territorial Inequalities in Europe IMAJINE” received funding from the EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement No. 726950), the paper aims at discussing the developments of Romanian migration in Greece in the era of austerity. The paper explores migrants’ individual and family strategies for social upgrading, improving their quality of life and becoming resilient during the economic crisis. Finally, the analysis of the empirical findings sheds light on migrants’ perceptions and experiences regarding their wellbeing and the way inequalities affect their mobility decisions.
"New Emigrants or New Spaniards? A typology of Spanish emigration to America in the wake of the economic crisis"
University of A Coruña, Spain
The onset of the economic crisis brought a change of direction for migratory flows. Statistical data reveal a growing outflow of Spaniards moving abroad. This paper aims to answer two key questions: Who are these Spanish emigrants? Where do they go? The objective is to draw up a classification to identify whether Spaniards living in America are "new Spaniards" who have acquired citizenship, or whether they were born in Spain and have decided to move to other latitudes in order to flee the crisis, attracted by more dynamic labour markets. Furthermore, it attempts to determine whether the current migratory movements of Spaniards are a consequence of the vast wave of historical emigration towards Latin America, or whether they are the consequence of new associations forged as a result of Latin American immigration to Spain during the period of economic prosperity. In order to do so, we will rely on a mixed methodology, based on the analysis of flows and stocks provided by official statistical sources, as well as in-depth interviews and life stories. A transnational approach will be adopted that seeks to account for the interconnections between the inbound and outbound migrant contexts, as well as an intergenerational perspective that highlights how migratory chains form part of the family strategies constructed on both sides of the Atlantic.
Constructing The Spanish Higher Education Student: Evidence From A Six-Nation Comparative Study
University of Surrey, United Kingdom
Assumptions are often made, within both academic scholarship and policy texts, that what it means to be a higher education student is the same across Europe – influenced by the increasing encroachment of neo-liberal ideals and market policies, as well as the implementation of a European Higher Education Area (e.g. Moutsios, 2013; Voegtle et al., 2011; Wright and Shore, 2016). Nevertheless, such assumptions are rarely held up to empirical scrutiny. In this paper, we draw on data from a variety of social actors in Spain - including policymakers, higher education staff, media and students themselves – to explore dominant constructions of the higher education student. We then compare these to constructions in the five other countries in our (European Research Council-funded) study – Denmark, England, Ireland, Germany and Poland – to show key ways in which understandings are shaped, at least to some extent, by the particular national context. Our analysis also highlights the ways in which understandings are contested even within the Spanish state, demonstrating how social actors can effectively interpret, translate and sometimes resist policy imperatives (Ball et al., 2011) and that nation-states are not necessarily coherent entities in educational terms (Phillips and Schweisfurth, 2014).