Community Frames of Migration: The Path from Seaca to Spain

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Abstract

Transnational migration is a vast social phenomenon that has become a valid option for many Romanians since 1989. Romania is an emigration country and the favourite destinations of its citizens are Italy and Spain. This is the context in which I present my work, which focuses on the formation of transnational migration patterns from a village in the southern region of Romania. The data were generated during field research conducted in August 2012, and the empirical material consisted of field notes and interview transcripts corresponding to recorded conversations with local migrants, authority representatives and people without migration experience. In this particular community, two patterns of migration were identified, for which variables such as ethnicity (Roma/Romanian) and religious orientation (Orthodoxy/Adventism) appear to have explanatory power. My inquiry takes as its starting point the identification of this variety of migration patterns and concentrates on analysing them in the regional and national contexts based on the scholarly framework provided by network theory. Two major differences exist between them: the time frame of living and working abroad (clearly demarcated as three months, six months or indefinite) and the nature of the work environment (departures based on a work contract between the migrant and a company located at the destination and departures accompanied by uncertainty regarding workplace concerns upon arrival). Making sense of these life strategies and their local configurations are the objectives of this paper.

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