PL EN


2014 | 3 | 1 | 85-98
Article title

Ukrainian Migrant Workers in Italy: Coping with and Reacting to Downward Mobility

Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
This article investigates the phenomenon of Ukrainian migrant women employed in the domestic and care sector in Italy. The analysis is based on a broad doctoral research carried out both in Ukraine and in Italy between 2005 and 2007. In particular, I investigate the subjective perception of downward mobility and how migrant women face this process of social devaluation and respond to it, taking into account that, in the case of Ukrainian female migration, the social skidding produced by migration goes hand in hand with the erosion of social and professional identity as experienced in their origin country during the 1990s. Thus, in order to comprehend the complexity of migration experiences it is necessary to analyse the migrants' whole life trajectories. The main results of the article are that Ukrainian migrant women give meaning to the process of devaluation by viewing it as an interlude in their life and as a sacrifice that serves to improve their families’ upward social mobility. Furthermore, in order to mitigate the social skidding and the asymmetrical relationships that characterise domestic work, they prefer to personalise the relationship with their employers and to avoid working for low educated and working class people. Finally, Ukrainian domestic workers react to the homogenisation engendered by migration by differentiating themselves both from other foreign nationals employed in the same sector, and from the ‘rough mass’ of their fellow countrywomen.
Contributors
  • Department of Philosophy, Sociology, Education and Applied Psychology (FISPPA), University of Padua
References
  • Andall J. (2000). Gender, Migration and Domestic Service. Ashgate: Aldershot.
  • Anderson B. (2000a). Doing the Dirty Work. London, New York: Zed Books.
  • Andersen B. (2000b). Why Madam has So Many Bathrobes? Demand for Migrant Domestic Workers in the EU. Journal of Economic and Social Geography 92(4): 18-26.
  • Aslund A. (2009). Ukraine. How Ukraine became a Market Economy and a Democracy. Washington: Peterson Institute of International Economics.
  • Balbo L. (1978). La doppia presenza. Inchiesta 8(32): 3-6.
  • Bimbi F. (1991). Doppia presenza, in: L. Balbo (ed.), Tempi di vita, pp. 56-62. Milano: Feltrinelli.
  • Boyarchuk D., Maliar L., Maliar S. (2005). The Consumption and Welfare Implications of Wage Arrears in Transition Economies. Journal of Comparative Economics 33(3): 540-564.
  • Brück T., Danzer A. M., Muravyev A., Weisshaar N. (2010). Poverty during Transition: Household Survey Evidence from Ukraine. Journal of Comparative Economics 38(2): 123-145.
  • Brück T., Lehmann H. (2012). In the Grip of Transition: Economic and Social Consequences of Restructuring in Russia and Ukraine. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Buckley M. (ed.) (1997). Post-Soviet Women: from the Baltic to Central Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Caritas/Migrantes (2006). L’immigrazione ucraina in Italia. Rome.
  • Conti C., Ribella N., Strozza S., Tuoto T. (2010). From East to West: the Former USSR Citizens in Italy, paper delivered at the European Population Conference (EPC 2010), Vienna, 1-4 September.
  • D’Anieri P., Kravchuk R., Kuzio T. (1999). Politics and Society in Ukraine. Boulder: Westview Press.
  • Direzione generale dell’immigrazione e delle politiche di integrazione (2012). Secondo Rapporto annuale sul mercato del lavoro degli immigrati. Rome: Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali.
  • Dudwick N., Gomart E., Kuehnast K. (eds.) (2003). When Things Fall Apart. Washington D.C.: World Bank.
  • Dudwick N., Wanner C. (2003). Children Have Become a Luxury: Everyday Dilemmas of Poverty in Ukraine, in: N. Dudwick, E. Gomart, K. Kuehnast (eds.), When Things Fall Apart, pp. 263-299. Washington D.C.: World Bank.
  • Fedyuk O. (2012). Images of Transnational Motherhood: The Role of Photographs in Measuring Time and Maintaining Connections between Ukraine and Italy. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 38(2): 279-300.
  • Fitzgerald D. (2006). Towards a Theoretical Ethnography of Migration. Qualitative Sociology 29(1): 1-24.
  • Gerber T., Hout M. (1995). Educational Stratification in Russia During the Soviet Period. American Journal of Sociology 101(3): 611-660.
  • Glenn E. N. (1992). From Servitude to Service Work: Historical Continuities in the Racial Division of Paid Reproductive Labor. Signs 18(1): 1-43.
  • Hankivsky O., Salnykova A. (2012). Gender, Politics and Society in Ukraine. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Ho C. (2006). Migration as Feminisation? Chinese Women’s Experiences of Work and Family in Australia. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 32(3): 497-514.
  • International Organisation for Migration - Mission in Ukraine (2011). Migration in Ukraine. Facts and Figures. Kyiv: International Organisation for Migration - Mission in Ukraine.
  • Italian Institute of Social Security (2011). Osservatorio sui lavoratori domestici. Dati Annuali. Online: http://www.inps.it/webidentity/banchedatistatistiche/domestici/index01.j... (accessed: January 2014).
  • Italian Institute of Statistics (2001). Permessi di soggiorno per sesso, area geografica e singolo paese di cittadinanza al 1° gennaio 2001. Online: http://demo.istat.it/altridati/noncomunitari/index.html (accessed: April 2013).
  • Italian Institute of Statistics (2004). Permessi di soggiorno per sesso e paese di cittadinanza al 1° gennaio 2004. Primi cinquanta paesi. Online: http://demo.istat.it/altridati/noncomunitari/index.html (accessed: April 2013).
  • Italian Institute of Statistics (2010a). Cittadini non comunitari regolarmente presenti in Italia. Anno 2010. Online: http://demo.istat.it/altridati/noncomunitari/index.html (accessed: April 2013).
  • Italian Institute of Statistics (2010b). La povertà in Italia. Anno 2010. Rome.
  • Italian Institute of Statistics (2010c). Popolazione straniera residente al 1° gennaio per età e sesso 2010. Online: www. http://demo.istat.it/ (accessed: March 2011).
  • Italian Institute of Statistics (2011). Cittadini non comunitari regolarmente presenti in Italia. Anno 2011. Online: http://demo.istat.it/altridati/noncomunitari/index.html (accessed: January 2014).
  • Kay R. (2006). Men in Contemporary Russia: the Fallen Heroes of Post-Soviet Change. Burlington: Ashgate.
  • Kiblitskaya M. (2000). Once We Were Kings. Male Experience in Post-Communist Russia, in: S. Ashwin (ed.), Gender State and Society in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia, pp. 90-104. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Kukhterin S. (2000), Fathers and Patriarchs in Communist and Post-communist Russia, in: S. Ashwin (ed.), Gender State and Society in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia, pp. 71-89. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Laborsta (1989-2005). Ukraine: Total Employment, by Occupation. Online: http://laborsta.ilo.org/cgi-bin/brokerv8.exe (accessed: June 2008).
  • Liversage A. (2009). Vital Conjunctures, Shifting Horizons: High-skilled Female Immigrants Looking for Work. Work Employment & Society 23(1): 120-141.
  • Marchetti S. (2010). Paid Domestic Labour and Postcoloniality: Narratives of Eritrean and Afro-Surinamese Wigrant Women. Utrecht: University of Utrecht.
  • Marchetti S., Venturini A. (2013). Mothers and Grandmothers on the Move: Labour Mobility and Household Strategies of Moldovan and Ukrainian Migrant Women in Italy. International Migration Early View (Online Version of Record published before inclusion in an issue)
  • Marcus G. E. (1995). Ethnography in/of the world system: The emergence of multi-sited ethnography. Annual Review of Anthropology 24: 95-117.
  • Mazzacurati C. (2005). Dal blat alla vendita del lavoro. Come sono cambiate colf e badanti ucraine e moldave a Padova, in: T. Caponio, A. Colombo (eds.), Migrazioni globali e integrazioni locali, pp. 145-174. Bologna: Il Mulino.
  • Ministero dell’Interno (2007). 1° Rapporto sugli immigrati in Italia. Rome.
  • Morrison C., Sacchetto D., Cretu O. (2013). International Migration and Labour Turnover: Worker’s Agency in the Construction Sector in Russia and Italy. Studies of Transition States and Societies 5(2).
  • Parreñas R. S. (2005). Children of Global Migration. Transnational Families and Gendered Woes. Standford: Standford University Press.
  • Round J., Williams C. (2010). Coping with the Social Costs of ‘transition’: Everyday Life in Post-Soviet Russia and Ukraine. European Urban and Regional Studies 17(2): 183-196.
  • Sayad A. (1999). La double absence. Des illusions de l'émigré aux souffrances de l'immigré. Paris: Seuil.
  • Scrinzi F. (2004). Donne migranti e mercato del lavoro domestico. Polis XVIII(1): 107-136.
  • van Hooren F. (2008). Welfare Provision beyond National Boundaries. The Politics of Migration and Elderly Care in Italy. Rivista Italiana di Politiche Pubbliche 3: 87-113.
  • van Hooren F. (2010). When Families Need Immigrants: The Exceptional Position of Migrant Domestic Workers and Care Assistants in Italian Immigration Policy. Bulletin of Italian Politics 2(2): 21-38.
  • Vianello F. A. (2009). Migrando sole. Legami transnazionali tra Ucraina e Italia. Milano: Franco Angeli.
  • Vianello F. A. (2011). Suspended Migrants. Return Migration to Ukraine, in: M. Nowak, M. Nowosielski (eds.), (Post)trans-formational Migration, pp. 251-274. Berlin: Peter Lang.
  • Vianello F. A. (2013a). A Transnational Double Presence: Circular Migrations between Ukraine and Italy, in: A. Triandafyllidou (ed.), Circular Migration between Europe and its Neighbourhood. Choice or Necessity?, pp. 187-211. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Vianello F. A. (2013b). Ukrainian Migrant Women’s Social Remittances: Contents and Effects on Families Left behind. Migration Letters 10(1): 91-100.
  • Zanfrini L. (2005). La rivoluzione incompiuta. Rome: Edizioni Lavoro.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-f4802f2e-4c3d-4943-a432-548a50af0301
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.