Journal of International and Global Studies (Apr 2011)

The Migrant Making Organization Gender, Labor and Agency in a New Migration Process

  • Marit Aure

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2, no. 2
pp. 62 – 79


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Labor migration is increasing in scale and diversity and is characterized by a new feminization. Despite these transformations, a common theme remains unchanged: immigrant workers are employed in low-skilled jobs. This study of labor migration from Russia to Norway analyzes the establishment of a new migration process, who was involved in this migration, and why this migration from Russia to Norway became dominated by women. It also discusses the situation of the Russian workers in the Norwegian labor market. Analyses of the recruitment processes show how gender, sexuality, age, marital status, education, and motherhood construct women as suitable migrants and how cultural processes combined with immigration policy restricts the migrants and contributes to deskilling and ethnic/national subordination. Focusing on the situated migrants’ contextual practices acknowledges the migrants’ willingness to seek challenges, intra- and inter-household relations, the costs involved and individual strategies and goals. This prevents the victimizing of migrants’ experiences inherent in the “othering” of migrants and adds to the understanding of migrants’ decision-making processes.