Dr Claudio Morrison, Middlesex University
Migration in the Soviet Union has largely been ignored because state controls over mobility before 1991 and nation-state building during transition have dominated narratives about this region. Yet, workers’ mobility has been a key feature of soviet society, expressing worker’s autonomy and dissatisfaction. Based on multi-sited ethnography with construction workers in Moldova and Russia, this research reveals how the breakup of the soviet space has not stopped migration flows but has affected their nature to workers’ detriment. The article is informed by concepts of mobility power, transnational exit and multinational worker elaborated by labour sociologists to explain European migration patterns from the workers’ perspective. Looking at their experiences across transnational spaces, the study shows how they negotiate the challenges of capitalist globalisation and geographic disintegration. Facing eradication, labour market segregation and discrimination, migrant workers question nationalism, embracing instead a multinational outlook.
This talk is part of the Interdisciplinary Labour Studies Seminar at Middlesex University