Romanians in Western Europe

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


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This book analyzes the Romanian migration that has developed in recent years as one of the largest migration waves in Europe. By comparing two migrant groups in Italy and Germany, this analysis reveals the ways in which migrants construct their social status; more specifically, this book questions the phenomena by which irregular Romanian migrants felt a sense of gain while the legal migrants perceived a loss in spite of extensive support. The book thus deals with migration and the puzzling outcomes it may generate in the context of massive changes in Europe.

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  • Hardback | 218 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 22.86mm | 816.46g
  • 09 Aug 2013
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD
  • English
  • 4 black & white halftones, 2 charts, 3 tables
  • 0739178881
  • 9780739178881
  • 969,311

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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.

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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 Through the lens of two case studies, this book analyses migration from Romania to Western Europe in recent decades, from incipient forms in the 1990s to becoming one of the largest immigration waves within Europe...The case studies highlight exquisitely how ethnicity is not a fixed category; once in Germany, many of the ethnic German migrants mentally remained very anchored in Romania. Social Anthropology Romanians in Western Europe is a timely contribution to a heated debate about the role migrants play in contemporary European societies, whether migrants fit in, and how they succeed in doing so. Anghel points to interesting dynamics that rarely pop up in public debates about migrants' place in affluent societies...Anghel has delivered an excellent and detailed study on processes of social adaptation that individual migrants go through to avoid cognitive dissonance at their new place of residence. Researching and writing up his work at a time when Romanians can enjoy freedom of movement in the EU has made Anghel focus on a factual aspect of migration. Journal Of Borderlands Studies 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

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