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East European westbound income-seeking migrants : some unwelcome effects on sender- and receiver-societies

Osteuropäische Migranten in Richtung Westen auf der Suche nach Einkommen : einige unwillkommene Auswirkungen auf Entsende- und Empfängergesellschaften
[working paper]

Morawska, Ewa

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Abstract This report on a study in progress examines some thus far uninvestigated aspects of Europe's post-1989 transformation and, specifically, developments related to greatly increased Westbound work-related migration of East Europeans. It is informed by three arguments. First, that East European, especially low-skilled, migrants' income-seeking sojourns in the West sustain or even reenergize some of the entrenched mindsets and coping practices formed under the previous regime and known as the homo sovieticus or beat-the-system/ bend-the-law syndrome as the effective strategy of economic action in the new situation. Second, that as East European (im)migrants negotiate the circumstances they encounter abroad in the pursuit of the purposes by engaging receiver-society native residents and institutions, their old-regime practices and orientations become integrated over time into the local cultural and social relational patterns in the West European countries where they settle. And third, that as East European income-seeking migrants travelling to the West return to their home-country localities, they transplant there their hands-on experience of the daily operation of capitalism acquired through its everyday "participant observation" during their Western sojourns. As they do this, they re-implant in their home-country local societies the old-regime homo sovieticus coping strategy now enhanced as effective tools in negotiating the capitalist system.
Keywords Eastern Europe; labor migration; Western Europe; labor market; job search; national economy; economic impact; integration; capitalism; adaptation; working conditions; Europe
Classification Migration, Sociology of Migration; National Economy
Method descriptive study
Free Keywords income-seeking East European migrants in the West; homo sovieticus; coping strategies; two-way transplanation
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
City Berlin
Page/Pages 14 p.
Series Working Paper Series of the Research Network 1989, 16
Status Published Version; not reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works