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Romanians in Western Europe: Migration, Status Dilemmas, and Transnational Connections

Romanians in Western Europe: Migration, Status Dilemmas, and Transnational Connections

Hardback

By (author) Remus Gabriel Anghel

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  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Hardback | 218 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 23mm | 816g
  • Publication date: 22 July 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739178881
  • ISBN 13: 9780739178881
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: 4 black & white halftones, 2 charts, 3 tables
  • Sales rank: 638,963

Product description

In recent years, Romanians have become the second largest migrant group in Western Europe. Following the liberalization of border controls and the massive economic and political changes in Eastern Europe, human mobility has increased and is becoming a permanent feature of post-Cold War Europe. The arrival of many Eastern Europeans, with Romanians being the largest migrant group, has produced public concerns on immigration in some West European countries. This is particularly the case in Italy, where Romanian irregular migrants are often stigmatized as poor troublemakers by authorities and the mass media. This book challenges such commonly-held assumptions that artificially divide migrants into categories of wished and unwished immigrants- winners and losers of international migration. This book compares two migrant groups. The first is composed of ethnic Germans who migrated legally from Timisoara, Romania, to Nuremberg, Germany. The second is made up of those who migrated irregularly from Borsa, Romania, to Milan, Italy. The analysis highlights a paradoxical situation. Irregular Romanian migrants in Milan had fewer rights and opportunities, yet through migration they gained prestige and came to enjoy a sense of success. Alternately, the Germans who had migrated to Nuremberg, who received more rights and opportunities, perceived that they had suffered a loss of social prestige. The focus on migrants' social status employed in the book seeks to clarify this puzzle and provide an analytical framework for researching the linkages between the migration and incorporation of Romanians-who are today European citizens-and European states' migration policies and migrant transnationalism.

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Author information

Remus Gabriel Anghel is a researcher at the Romanian Institute of Research on National Minorities, and visiting professor at the Political Science Department, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania. He received his PhD in sociology at the University of Bielefeld, Germany. The areas of his research include Romanian migration in Italy and Germany, as well as the migration of ethnic minorities. He has published on the topics of migrant transnationalism, irregular migration, migration, development and social change. He is currently involved in researching the effects of migration among Romanian and Roma migrants in Romania.

Review quote

By using statistical evidence, oral histories, and migration theories, Anghel (Romanian Institute of Research on National Minorities) offers a valuable study of ethnic Germans migrating from Romania to Germany and of Romanian migrants to Italy. The author analyzes the obstacles and opportunities the chosen host nations provided after the collapse of eastern European regimes and the European Union's expansion. Depicting ethnic Germans migrating from Romania to Nuremberg as the saga of people returning to their ancestral homeland allowed for granting of juridical rights and legal employment. The Italian government's laissez-faire attitude toward migration, however, caused more difficulties for Romanians migrating to Milan; these were later ameliorated by legalization processes that developed only after the flood of migrants made their presence too obvious to ignore. In addition to an assessment of migration's impact in countries of origin and destination is an interesting analysis of notions of transnationality in contemporary Europe. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduates and above. CHOICE With wordsmanship and building on a rich empirical material, Anghel engages in exploring the experiences of mobile Romanians in Western Europe. Anghel finely tunes his analysis to explore the motivations of the Romanians for seeking work abroad, their migration stories, their understanding of a changing status from often unauthorised migrants to legal residents and to European citizens; their relationship with 'home' and the 'new home'; and, their making sense of their changing social status in the new society. The book is comparative in purpose and sophisticated in design, aiming to contrast the experiences of the Romanians who migrated to different destinations in Europe - Italy and Germany - under different legal regimes...Concise and well-built, the book mobilises state-of-the-art ethnographic methodologies - multi-site matched interviews in countries of destination and in the country of origin - to narrate the little-known story of Romanian migration. The book is a must-read for all researchers of contemporary European migration. Central and Eastern European Review Remus Anghel's beautifully written book captures the complex dynamics of one of the most important migrations in Europe today. Romanian migration has long been the interest of social scientists in Romania but never before has it been so systematically and compellingly presented to an English speaking audience. Anghel's rich and textured ethnographic study reveals how Romanian migrants to Germany experience a reduction in their social status whilst those in Italy ultimately enjoy a higher status. This finding directly challenges structuralist accounts of migration which suggest that differences in the legal framework for migrant incorporation (robust in Germany for Romanians but weak in Italy) can best predict different status outcomes. Anghel handles this quandary skillfully, adroitly, and intelligently, returning a bit of transnational agency to the migrants in the process. His book enhances our awareness and appreciation of different dimensions of Romanian migration whilst at the same time generating new and original insights that are certain to enjoy relevance far beyond the Romanian case. -- Jon Fox, PhD, University of Bristol Starting from cross-border mobilities, Remus Anghel captures the simultaneous transformation of Europe, in both East and West. By situating migration in a broader context of societal transformation via state policies and migrant practices, Anghel stimulates our thinking about the social positioning of migrants across and beyond the nation-state. This is innovative transnational analysis at its best. -- Thomas Faist Ph.D., Bielefeld University This empirically rich and theoretically sophisticated book provides a much needed understanding of one of the largest emigrations flow in contemporary Europe. Remus Anghel has analyzed the social and anthropological structures of Romanian migration in a timely, important, and fascinating fashion-a great and innovative example of network thinking and multi-sited ethnography combined. -- Giuseppe Sciortino, PhD, Universita di Trento

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Introduction Constructing Status in Transnational Migration Nation States, Migrants' Incorporation, and Social Status Fieldwork Encounters: Migrants and Mobilities in the Heart of Europe Part One: Romanian Germans in Germany Chapter 1: Germans Moving "Home:" From Timisoara to Nuremberg Readiness to Go. German Migration during State Socialism The Big Wave: Mass Migration of the Romanian Germans Chapter 2: Living in Nuremberg: Accepted but Different Getting to Nuremberg Labor Market Incorporation Getting Education ...and Better Jobs Sociality Networks, Claims for Identity, and Prestige Loss Marriage to Romanian Women and "Romanianization" Chapter 3: A Weak Transnationality: Memory, Leisure, and Plans to Return Remembering Places: Transnationalism as Memory "Romania Tourists:" Transnationalism as Leisure Transnational Pensioners Plans to Move Back Part Two: Romanians in Italy Chapter 4: "We Need to Get Out Of Here": From Borsa to Milan Migration from Borsa: Causes, Periods, and Mechanisms of Migration The Initial Phase: Inventing Migration Strategies The Development of Migration: Kinship Networks Freedom of Movement in Europe Chapter 5: Making Milan Their Own: From Precariousness to Adaptation Getting to Milan Finding Housing Finding Jobs Legalization Freedom to Travel and Its Effects in Milan Chapter 6: Back Home: Prestige, Gain, Remittances, and Social Change Remittances for Sustaining Households Transnational Strategies of Investment Migrant Transnationalism, Social Change and Prestige Gain Transnational Migration and Social Transformation Conclusions References Index About the Author