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Temporal fix, hierarchies of work and post-socialist hopes for a better way of life

journal contribution
posted on 06.05.2021, 10:16 by Aija LulleAija Lulle
This paper proposes to rethink the agriculture–migration nexus through the notions of temporal fix and migrant hierarchies. Its empirical setting is the post-socialist migration of Latvians who move to the Channel Island of Guernsey and to Norway, where they take temporary jobs picking crops such as tomatoes and strawberries. I analyse both how agricultural migrants are viewed by others and how they evaluate themselves. The research material comes from long-term ethnographic engagement with Latvian migrants in these two destinations. In both geographical contexts, temporary agricultural work positions migrants at the bottom of the labour hierarchy. Yet, because of their experience of agriculture in the homeland in Soviet and early post-Soviet times, and because being close to nature is part of Latvian cultural identity, such work is viewed as fundamental and positive. Experiences abroad are nevertheless ‘shocking’ because of the tough work under strict capitalist regulations. Yet the work is endured either as a step to a better job abroad, or as a means of accumulating income for a better life upon return ‘home’.

Funding

European Social Fund scholarship

Academy of Finland grant

DEMOMIG project, State Research Programme, University of Latvia. Grant No:2018/1-0015

Academy of Finland, University of Eastern Finland TRANSLINES project, Grant No: 14960-288 552

History

School

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Published in

Journal of Rural Studies

Volume

84

Pages

221 - 229

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Elsevier

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Rural Studies and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.04.018.

Acceptance date

29/04/2021

Publication date

2021-05-08

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

0743-0167

Language

en

Depositor

Dr Aija Lulle. Deposit date: 5 May 2021