Accepted paper:

Back-and-Forth Migration between Eastern and Western Europe. The Case of a Contemporary Romanian Community


Elena Popa (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on a case study from contemporary rural Romania this paper examines the rural labor migration pattern towards Western Europe emphasizing cross-cultural aspects, the commissioned workload in the host country, the migrants’ homecoming and how their experience abroad influenced the community.

Paper long abstract:

This paper tackles the labor migration process in the Romanian villages taking as a case study a contemporary rural Romanian community. The analysis is based on extensive oral history research dating from 2007, when I started to look into the identity of Romanian rural communities after EU accession, as well as parallel documentation relating to the issue. The paper deals with migration from two different vantage points: one is the sedentary perspective of the non-migrants, who experience a second-hand impact of migration through family members or other fellow-villagers who went to work abroad; the other one is the mobile perspective, featured by the case of one family of migrants. Moreover, taking in consideration these two perspectives the paper shows how the migration experience is categorized by non-migrants as well as by migrants. In addition, the paper examines the migration process as a rite de passage emphasizing the voyage and arrival of the migrants in the host countries, cross-cultural aspects and the commissioned workload in the destination countries, the migrants' homecoming and how their experience abroad influenced the community.

panel MMM32
Management of mobility in contemporary Europe: experiences and strategies of migration