Paper short abstract:
The study addresses the effects of Romanian temporary migration to Italy on the young people in one of the major rural sending communities. I focused on their projected life trajectories, in terms of education and occupation, in the context of cultural and economic changes brought about by migration.
Paper long abstract:
In the last years, due to the diffusion and contagion effects, temporary migration was the main strategy adopted by entire rural communities in Romania. I was led in this research by the following question: What is the future of a rural community with a consistent flow of international migration? I sought the answer by studying the young people (between 14 and 18 years old) who lived in a community with a high migration rate towards Italy.
I was interested in studying the changes of younger generation's future choices, due to the migration culture, which structured their opportunities: the way the young people projected their future and the objective dimension of educational performances. I also considered the differences between migrant and non-migrant families in this respect. I identified three dominant types of young people regarding their future trajectories: the careerists, the conformists and the disoriented.
My field research also looked at the context which influenced these paths: a tendency towards the permanent migration, legalization of the migrants' status and diversification of the purposes for migrating (not only for labour, but also for holidays and for medical care). This change has developed a migration culture among all the villagers, evidenced by the "normality" of migration in every day life and the positive ideologies of migration. Also, transnational links have developed between the Romanian village and those living in Italy, even if these are either diffuse - the ties are weak and unstable- or selective - the network are kin-based and do not include others than close relatives.
Summarizing I argue that my research spreads a new light in the studies of migration's effect over sending societies, as it presents not only what is changing now in the social and cultural structure of that community, but it attempts to forecast what may change in the future as well.
Migration and cultural change in Europe