Geografie 2017, 122, 526-553

Migrant values and social remittances across the contemporary migration-development nexus: the case of Moldovans in Czechia

Dušan Drbohlav1, Adrian Bailey2, Milan Lupták1, Dita Čermáková1

1Charles University, Faculty of Science, Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Prague, Czechia
2Hong Kong Baptist University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography, Hong Kong

Received October 2017
Accepted November 2017

Migration theory and international policy recognises that migrant remittances play significant roles in shaping economic, social, and political transformations in origins and destinations. However, nobody deals with how migrants experience and use values. To contribute to the development of migration theory we integrate insights from modernization, social remittance, and cleavage frameworks. We test three propositions, that values are experienced in comparative and relational ways, that values are selectively transferred in context specific ways, and that values are constitutive of social and economic structures. Our original empirical account is derived from a sample of 28 Moldovan migrants living and working in Czechia. We report three main findings, first, Moldovan migrants acquire values through a process of relating them to prior experiences in their daily life in their origin; second, social remittances appear, but to limited extent, and are transferred depending on the operation of cleavages in Moldovan society; third, values respond to and reinforce corruption and low market demand in Moldova, and may perpetuate over the medium term owner/worker and government/society cleavages in Moldovan society.


This study was supported by the Czech Science Foundation project: “Moldovans in Prague (Czechia) and Torino (Italy) – migratory and integration patterns, financial and social remittances under scrutiny” No. P404/16-22194S.


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