[“Not ready to be thrown on the scrap heap” or the paradoxes of care migration from the Czech Republic to Austria Cover Image

„Ještě nepatřím do starého železa“ aneb paradoxy migrace péče z ČR do Rakouska
[“Not ready to be thrown on the scrap heap” or the paradoxes of care migration from the Czech Republic to Austria

Author(s): Petra Ezzeddine, Andrea Kuchyňková
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Family and social welfare, Migration Studies
Published by: Sociologický ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.
Keywords: female care migration; gender identity; semi-structured interviews; translocal care chains

Summary/Abstract: The paper focuses on the social situation and social practices of female care migrants (at the age of 50 and above) from the South Moravia (the region of Mikulov, Břeclav) who migrate for work to Austria as domestic workers-caregivers for seniors at regular intervals (circular migration). The main aim of the text is to argue that translocal female migrants paradoxically perceive their labour migration as a specific form of emancipation, despite the fact that they work in the so-called live-in-service jobs (where they live and work in private households) and often experience indignity. While in Austria they work in gendered and very demanding jobs with low wages, circular care migration provides them with the possibility to extend their gender power in the transforming Czech society. There is thus a paradox in that while they are marginalized in Austria, they are empowered on the Czech side of the border. This is achieved through paid reproductive work and better access to income, which leads to personal consumption based on their own interests and overall personal benefit. Special attention is paid to new forms of translocal care chains and new forms of these women’s partner cohabitation (living apart together).

  • Issue Year: 16/2015
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 30-41
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Czech