Marketing  /  The phenomenon of tolerance and migration phobia under the conditions of labour mirgation

THE PHENOMENON OF TOLERANCE AND MIGRATION PHOBIA UNDER THE CONDITIONS OF LABOUR MIGRATION

The most difficult problems of labour migration that for a number of reasons play a special role for Ukraine, its population, the considerable part of which work in countries of Western and Eastern Europe as well as in Russia are related to the legalization of the migrants position, job search, system of payment, finally to the number of serious humanitarian questions (in particular linguistic), are complicated by another complex of problems associated with the relationship between labour migrants and population of countries where they obtain a job and they work.

It concerns a tension that occurs frequently here (which will increase sharply without doubts during economic crisis), from time to time – conflicts and the whole system of relations that are formed between migrants and population of the “host country” and which can be called as the relations of tolerance and migration phobia.

It may seem that firstly, analyzing this problem it is necessary to define the presuppositions, that is to specify either the social tension frequently occurred between migrants and “local” population is organic or not? What characteristics can it acquire? Is it possible to avoid it if it’s so then in what way? The answers to these questions are far from being simple. Here it is important to take into consideration a great number of factors. In the first place such as the type of labour migration. So, it is known that the phenomenon of migration phobia more often occurs when the matter concerns the “eastern” direction of the migration phobia, that is in Russia. However, in the countries of Western Europe it also frequently happens, especially when it concerns ethnic migrants.

matter concerns the “eastern” direction of the migration phobia, that is in Russia. However, in the countries of Western Europe it also frequently happens, especially when it concerns ethnic migrants.

It is likely to start a consideration and study of this problem with the presuppositions of tension occurrence (social, racial, economic, etc.) between labour migrants and their host country. There are several presuppositions:

  • firstly, it is the presence in this or that country, this or that society of stable and

considerable demand for labour force, especially in situations when in the host country, to say so, the rate of “own” unemployment is high enough. And there is no any contradiction so far as recently in European countries and in large cities, for example Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg etc.), alongside with a considerable presence in so-called “the lowest niche” of a labour market there also exists a considerable unemployment, as indigenes of the rich countries and cities are not in a hurry to occupy them;

  • secondly, the occupancy of positions by labour migrants at labour markets as it was proved many times (a special research was conducted), actually results in price reduction of the labour force. This phenomenon became rather widespread. Meanwhile, it is clear that employers “importing” and “formalizing” foreign labour force, often illegally, gain a substantial benefit from it. It has come to the point that the employers (first of all Russian) skillfully create an artificial virtual shortage of personnel by establishing the understated rates of labour remuneration;
  • thirdly, the most important presupposition of tension occurrence is the breach of interethnic balance at the labour market. The presence of a considerable number of labour migrants leads to formation of attitudes in indigenous population associated with the threat (real or virtual) to its vital interests. Especially, it is a characteristic feature of a number of countries (in particular, Russia), where exist so-called enclave labour markets by which it is understood the markets formed at immigration enclaves, on other territories where commercial and service establishments are located the owners or holders of which are the immigrants that in their turn take on foreign workers as a rule from among the compatriots.
  • virtual shortage of personnel by establishing the understated rates of labour remuneration;
  • thirdly, the most important presupposition of tension occurrence is the breach of interethnic balance at the labour market. The presence of a considerable number of labour migrants leads to formation of attitudes in indigenous population associated with the threat (real or virtual) to its vital interests. Especially, it is a characteristic feature of a number of countries (in particular, Russia), where exist so-called enclave labour markets by which it is understood the markets formed at immigration enclaves, on other territories where commercial and service establishments are located the owners or holders of which are the immigrants that in their turn take on foreign workers as a rule from among the compatriots.

For instance, for Russia these are the migration flows as Asia-Pacific (Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese); Central Asian (Uzbeks, Tajiks etc.); Caucasian (Azerbaijani, Daghestani etc.). It should be mentioned that although, at present, Ukraine often acts as an exporter but not an importer of labour force, the problems of enclave labour markets are also revealed.

Apart from above-mentioned ones there undoubtedly exist some other reasons of tension occurrence in relations between labour migrants and “host” countries. In particular, they are connected with the problems of divergence of cultures (especially it is sharply perceptible in Europe where a considerable part of migrants is represented by the Africans and Arabians); of language; international marriages and some others.

Does the existent (and above-mentioned) tension always proceed to serious conflicts? Here it is likely to talk about series of aspects of this problem. The first is the problem of socialization, entering in “local” society by labour migrants arrived in country. And it concerns by no means the formalization of a right for legal job or citizenship. As the interaction between “both parts” is realized in the whole series of spaces: social, economic, legal, politic, cultural, even demographic so far as some categories of migrants are inclined to expanded actualization and  gradual “occupation” not only the workplaces of “aboriginals” but also their living space in whole.

In principle several types of the similar socialization of labour migrants could be distinguished depending on the “level” of their adaptation to local communities and labour markets. The first is an actual “assimilation”, that is to grow almost accustomed to local community going along with contracting the marriages, movements of families into the country of job placement, finally, admittance to valid citizenship. It is just the type of socialization that more often (to people’s great regret who stay in Ukraine) exist among the Ukrainians who work in Spain, Portugal, Poland and especially in Italy.

The second type of socialization is called the “encounter socialization”. This phenomenon which appears at the territories where there is a very considerable number of migrants, for instance, the Ukrainians in Moscow (according to the opinion of Russian specialists best of all it is seen in the process of transboundary interaction of the population of Habarovsk with the frontier China and the population of St. Petersburg with Finland). Similar encounter socialization is characterized by the creation of unique sociocultural spaces (comparatively “neutral”), where some general mutually admissible standards of behaviour, covertly admitted common values are formed. In this case the “enemy image” is considerably overcome, the risks of migrants encounters with unknown and dangerous factors for them are decreased, the possibilities for the efficient dialogue of cultures are created in economic sphere.

unique sociocultural spaces (comparatively “neutral”), where some general mutually admissible standards of behaviour, covertly admitted common values are formed. In this case the “enemy image” is considerably overcome, the risks of migrants encounters with unknown and dangerous factors for them are decreased, the possibilities for the efficient dialogue of cultures are created in economic sphere.

The third type of socialization of labour migrants in countries where they go to work unfortunately is widely-spread and more often among ethnic migrants. Here we can attribute the above-mentioned entry of arrived labour people in enclave labour markets. There are also the situations when the considerable groups of such people arrived in the country are “penetrating” in diasporas existed in different countries. On the one hand it helps them to grow accustomed in terms of job opportunity. On the other hand, it often suppresses an actual socialization as there is no need to learn language actively, to become familiar with the culture of host party etc.

In particular, regarding Ukrainian diasporas, according to Russian sociologist S.V. Ryazantsev, the largest labour diaspora formed beyond the bounds of CIS is the Ukrainian one. As it was mentioned many times in scientific and journalistic literature the valuations of its amount are fluctuating from 2 to 7 million persons (it is meant the labour migrants arrived for a job that are penetrated in the existing Ukrainian diasporas in different countries). Meanwhile, in series of countries the Ukrainian diaspora is the largest of all foreign ones, for example in Czech Republic, Poland, Italy (we mean the diasporas from former countries of the Union).Of course, the diasporas from Arab and African countries have completely different dimensions and peculiarity in Western Europe (this problem concerns the sphere of our analysis).

However, let’s come back to the above-stated problem of conflicts between labour migrants and host countries, phenomena of tolerance and migration phobia. As concerns similar conflicts, of course they have more acute character when the matter is the Ukrainian labour migration on its “Eastern” direction.

We will name three the most spread types of similar conflicts:

African countries have completely different dimensions and peculiarity in Western Europe (this problem concerns the sphere of our analysis).

However, let’s come back to the above-stated problem of conflicts between labour migrants and host countries, phenomena of tolerance and migration phobia. As concerns similar conflicts, of course they have more acute character when the matter is the Ukrainian labour migration on its “Eastern” direction.

We will name three the most spread types of similar conflicts:

  • conflicts at the enclave labour markets;
  • conflicts between labour migrants and entrepreneurs;
  • conflicts between labour migrants and population of the regions where they work.

The first variety of conflicts is rather simple: as a rule, at the enclave labour markets, first of all, connected with the commerce, restaurant business etc., a rapid accumulation of the capital is in progress. At the same time the representatives of different ethnic groups work on their side. More often in similar situation the circumstances become criminalized, as there occur the problems of relations of such “enclave elite” with the representatives of employees of other nationalities, conflicts because of the spheres of influence etc. That’s why there often occur serious “showdowns” between migrants that work at similar markets with the presence of criminal elements.

The second type of conflicts – between labour migrants and entrepreneurs where they work, is more difficult. Here, on the one hand exists an interest of the entrepreneurs in such labour force, as it was mentioned its employment gives a direct economic effect enriching the entrepreneurs as well as an indirect one – the employment of labour migrants allows reducing the price of labour force at the corresponding labour markets.

All these processes more often take place at markets where the labour of immigrants is used legally or semilegally. And all would have been right… (from the standpoint of entrepreneurs), but for the following case: while the labour of migrants is used occasionally or on a small scale everything “goes” successfully. However, under the mass usage of such labour the turn to organized resistance of large groups of labour migrants occurs in relation to the employers, an external pressure is realized on the entrepreneurs from their part. Of course, it does not concern the strikes of trade unions proceeding from the situation peculiarity of the labour migrants. But the resistance forms of very serious exploitation turn out to be different, up to the resistance against the representatives of authorities of internal affairs and even up to the open sabotage, arsons, equipment damage and etc.

Finally, the third type of conflicts is perhaps the most important and significant. Just in the process of realization of such conflicts (including the preparation for them) the problems of tolerance and migration phobia occur. Of course, it concerns the conflicts (social, ethnic, purely labour etc.) between labour migrants and “local population”. It was mentioned many times about this problem, we also wrote about it in one of our articles. That’s why we will not describe here in details all its aspects. We will state only the fact that the acuteness of such conflicts is more serious on the one hand on the Eastern direction of the labour migration; on the other – in the period of economic crises when the real problems occur with the employment of local workers. We remember that at the usual time in rich countries and cities these problems often acquire a virtual character as the residents of such countries and cities don’t hurry up to occupy job places in the “lowest niche” of labour market.

only the fact that the acuteness of such conflicts is more serious on the one hand on the Eastern direction of the labour migration; on the other – in the period of economic crises when the real problems occur with the employment of local workers. We remember that at the usual time in rich countries and cities these problems often acquire a virtual character as the residents of such countries and cities don’t hurry up to occupy job places in the “lowest niche” of labour market.

Just in such situations the problems of tolerance and migration phobia are revealed in the most clear and exact way. Before getting down to its analysis we remember that they are meant in the whole as well as in regard to the problems of labour migration in particular. If talking about the tolerance as the social phenomenon it is meant, first of all, a certain social value connected with the necessity of recognition the natural variety of people, cultures and nations as particular value in itself. Thereby, the tolerance is meant as a standard of civilized compromise between competing cultures, readiness to admit other opinions. By the way, this fact appears as the condition of variety preserving, the sort of historical right of different nations and cultures for diversity, dissimilarity.

It is clear that the phenomenon of tolerance, its necessity occurs and exists not only in the conditions of serious labour migration but principally everywhere and always in situations of coexistence of various nations and cultures on common territory, in one country. The violation of this principle often leads to xenophobia, nationalism etc. In many multinational countries during their historical development the culture of tolerance had been formed, always not easy relations between inhabitants of these countries were gradually settled.

A completely new aspect the phenomenon of mass labour migration attributes to these relations in contemporary conditions. Moreover, it is often stated that the reality itself in series of countries (first of all as in Russia) generates a sort of the intolerant everyday life. The reasons of it are versatile. In the first place, it is the absence of a common sociopolitical position in regards to the peculiarity and dimensions of the admissible labour migration in series of countries.

were gradually settled.

A completely new aspect the phenomenon of mass labour migration attributes to these relations in contemporary conditions. Moreover, it is often stated that the reality itself in series of countries (first of all as in Russia) generates a sort of the intolerant everyday life. The reasons of it are versatile. In the first place, it is the absence of a common sociopolitical position in regards to the peculiarity and dimensions of the admissible labour migration in series of countries.

The experience of many Western countries (Finland, Netherlands etc.), where practically uncontrolled labour migration resulted in serious change even of ethnic and sociological society structure, make other countries dread the water.

So, even in comparatively liberal Switzerland in this sense, the referendum had already been held in 2009 regarding the fact in what extent it is reasonable to allow the labour migrants entering the Swiss labour market even from recently joined states members of EU such as Bulgaria and Rumania (the population of Switzerland approved).

Concerning such countries as Russia, here in political and even in scientific community some exact positions on the subject of the extent of possible large scale of labour migration are not elaborated. For instance, Ye. Haydar considers that taking into account the scale of migrants reception, in XXI century Russia might play the same role as America played in XIX and XX centuries. Meanwhile, a number of other scientists and politicians support the minimization of dimensions of labour migration.

Such vagueness even at the official level in regard to labour migration (and it doesn’t concern Russia where a great number of Ukrainians work) plus very peculiar position of Russian entrepreneurs that prefer to employ labour migrants legally (and more often illegally) for the profit increase and “pressure” on the price of labour force results in completely specific phenomenon as migration phobia among population. Here, it must be said that such phenomenon, though in easier form, is attributed not only to Russia. It was so in the period when a mass migration of Poles began to the countries of Western Europe, when million of Turks began to “inhabit” Germany and so on.

This phenomenon is revealed much more exactly and may be fixed and described simply by of example of modern Russia where an active labour migration is unfolding just at present. What are the reasons of the migration phobia that exists in the processes of labour migration (which is generated by it), that is a negative attitude (sometimes it comes to hate, conflicts etc.) of the local population to the labour migrants? This phenomenon is not simple that is to say multilayer. It has series of reasons connected personally with the migrants as well as with local population directly.

Talking about labour migrants, here occur the circumstances when they in theirself often appear as committers of the disorganization, of the aggravating situation in regions. On the one hand, it is connected with the strengthening of ethnic relations, with the unity of different ethnic groups of labour migrants. Also on the other hand, it is often connected with the criminal actions and racketeering in the migrants environment. Such phenomenon is fixed unfortunately in European countries, in particular in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland. Meanwhile, according to the data of the Ukrainian sociologist N.A. Shul’ga, for instance, our compatriots are assigned to the lowest rating among these ethnic groups in the public conscience of the Czechs and the Poles. In these countries the Ukrainians pass ahead only of the Romanians and the Gypsies.

particular in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland. Meanwhile, according to the data of the Ukrainian sociologist N.A. Shul’ga, for instance, our compatriots are assigned to the lowest rating among these ethnic groups in the public conscience of the Czechs and the Poles. In these countries the Ukrainians pass ahead only of the Romanians and the Gypsies.

However, certainly, the most serious roots the migration phobia has in the environment that accepts labour migrants. Here, firstly, the whole range of ethnic problems arises connected with the formation of diasporas and enclave labour markets, large and “secured” enough from the local population (the subjects connected with the dominance of the Chinese diasporas in Russia or Arab ones in countries of Western Europe became the common place). Secondly, the attitude of the local population to the labour migrants (often negative) is formed because of the fact that migrants “create” these black markets of labour force. And the case that similar situations are supported by local entrepreneurs who take a considerable advantage of it including also, as it was mentioned, the price decrease of labour force evokes a considerable negative attitude from the part of local population.

Thirdly, a mass labour migration (and it concerns mainly the countries of the West) ultimately may lead and often leads to serious sociopolitical consequences. In particular, because of the development of racism on the one hand, separatism and fundamentalism on the other hand. Eventually as it is seen from the experience of many countries, nowadays the ground for the development of antiimmigratory movements has been created, in the first place of nationalistic and racist character.

       This case from our point of view should form a peculiar attention to them in the environment of the Ukrainian labour migrants as well as in the organs of government within the limits of possible regulation of corresponding processes. Here, of course it should be taken into account the case that in connection with the increase of labour migration and series of other above-mentioned circumstances, a conflict situation of the corresponding processes will grow. Accordingly, a maximum intensification of the governing role of states which stand on “both sides” of these processes is needed. In the first place the matter is the improvement of migration policy, establishment of a normative-legal base that regulates the processes of labour migration   from the side of countries-“importers” of labour-force (certainly, it also concerns Ukraine) as well as countries that receive it. Only in this way it is possible to avoid the impact of many destructive factors on the processes of labour migration and direct them towards the formation of integration processes on the basis of positive values.

       This case from our point of view should form a peculiar attention to them in the environment of the Ukrainian labour migrants as well as in the organs of government within the limits of possible regulation of corresponding processes. Here, of course it should be taken into account the case that in connection with the increase of labour migration and series of other above-mentioned circumstances, a conflict situation of the corresponding processes will grow. Accordingly, a maximum intensification of the governing role of states which stand on “both sides” of these processes is needed. In the first place the matter is the improvement of migration policy, establishment of a normative-legal base that regulates the processes of labour migration   from the side of countries-“importers” of labour-force (certainly, it also concerns Ukraine) as well as countries that receive it. Only in this way it is possible to avoid the impact of many destructive factors on the processes of labour migration and direct them towards the formation of integration processes on the basis of positive values.

Dmitriy Akimov,
Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Sociology,
Head of the General Directorate of
International Academy of rating
technologies and sociology “Golden Fortune”

IARTAS “Golden Fortune”

IARTAS “Golden Fortune” is the international scientific organization whose Presidium embraces the first persons of the National and Royal Academies of Sciences from 30 countries all over the world.

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