Human Agency in Migration: the impact of Migration on social and cultural identity

Authors: Medea Badashvili*, Tbilisi State University
Topics: Migration, Gender
Keywords: family relationship, gender roles in family, migration, agency, identity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 5:00 PM / 6:40 PM
Room: Council Room, Omni, West
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper examines the processes of changing the life of Georgian migrants and the members of their families after migrating to the US.
Labor migration in Georgia started in the 1990s, after the collapse of Soviet Union, as a result of the difficult economic and political situation in the country, which have led to the highest levels of out-migration from Georgia. According to the last World Bank data, approximately 23 percent of Georgia’s population lives below the official poverty line. Economic crisis have been exacerbated by political turmoil and violent conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

During the first years of the Georgian independence, labor migration from Georgia consisted predominantly of males and was directed towards Russia. A decade later, female labor emigration form Georgia started to increase, indicating the demand for domestic jobs at the global market. Accordingly to the recent studies, the most interesting countries are EU countries, Turkey and North America, where women generally perform babysitting work, care-giving, nurse, saleswomen, and waiters. Surprisingly, more women than men migrate from Georgia.

The present paper is based on a quantitative and qualitative research, conducted with labor migrants from Georgia, living on the east coast of the US, describing migrant’s life in a new social environment.
The research illustrates the changes of their lifestyle underwent in several important areas, such as: the family structure and family relationships; the level of integration and their social life; agency and identity.

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